We, at The Virga Law Firm, want to ensure client safety. During this time we are available for over the phone consultations, video chats and also Skype calls. We utilize cloud-based systems to protect your privacy so we can still take on new cases while protecting public health during these challenging times. For more information about this, please read a message from Gerard Virga.

Magistrate Supportive Counsel You Can Rely On

Can a general magistrate be assigned to handle my Pensacola family law case?

Yes, in Florida, a general magistrate may be assigned to handle your divorce, modification or paternity case. Our Pensacola family law lawyers have years of experience litigating in front of both judges and general magistrates. Unlike a judge who is appointed by the governor or voters to the serve the bench, a general magistrate is a licensed Florida attorney selected by the court to assist in the hearing of cases. Generally, magistrates are utilized because they allow cases to be heard quicker than if they had their case heard in front of the circuit court judge.

If your case is referred to the general magistrate, and neither party objects, the magistrate will conduct hearings on all the issues referred to them. The magistrate will conduct the hearing in the same manner as a judge. He or she will take testimony, rule on evidentiary issues and even make a ruling on the matter. Still, the main discrepancy between a judge and a general magistrate is the general magistrate does not have the authority to enter a court order. Unlike a judge, the magistrate’s rulings are referred to as a Report and Recommendation and must be approved and signed off by a judge before they are issued by the court as an enforceable order.

Get experienced legal help from our Pensacola family law attorneys.

You do have the ability to object to the magistrate's report and recommendation in certain scenarios. Our Pensacola family law litigators are experienced in seeking magistrate objects as well as other remedies to these reports. Let us navigating the court system for you.

Presenting your case in front of a judge or general magistrate can be an intimidating task if pursued alone. You will be held to the same standards as an attorney and be required to possess an understanding of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. Our Pensacola family law attorneys have the proven knowledge and skills to zealously represent you in your family law claim.

Contact our office to put our experience to work for you.

  • Top 10 Family Law Law Firm
  • Attorney Top 40 Under 40
  • Best of Bay
  • The National Advocates
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Lawyers of Distinction 2018
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Lawyers
  • 10 Best by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys | 2016
  • “I will definitely be recommending to anyone I know that needs a child custody or divorce attorney!”

    - A Divorce Client
  • “If you are looking for an attorney who is professional, honest, knowledgeable and responsive to your needs, Gerard Virga meets such requirements.”

    - A Divorce Client
  • “He responded to my messages promptly and I never felt rushed when speaking with him in meetings and phone conversations.”

    - A Divorce Client
  • “He answered in a way that helped me understand the law better.”

    - A Divorce Client
  • “Gerard is smarter than 95% of people I know, including lawyers. His intelligence combined with his work ethic make him an extremely effective advocate. Gerard is the kind of evil genius I'd want on my ...”

    - Adam Ellis, Litigation Lawyer
  • “Truly he is one of the smartest people I have met. I have found Gerard very knowledgeable on law and legal procedure, and am extremely impressed by his ability to devise and execute an aggressive ...”

    - Rusty Shepard, Criminal Defense Attorney
  • “This lawyer treated me with professionalism, and fought for my case. His staff was excellent and Mr. Virga had an excellent understanding of the law. Mr. Virga also was a very real person, and not ...”

    - A Divorce Client
  • “I regularly refer family law and civil litigation cases to Mr. Virga because of his skill and knowledge of those areas of law. The clients I refer to Mr. Virga are always satisfied with and ...”

    - Joseph Turner, Criminal Defense Attorney
  • “Mr. Virga represented me in a litigation matter. Mr. Virga not only accepted me as a client, but he took my case to heart. Mr. Virga developed and executed a masterful legal strategy that pummeled my ...”

    - A Litigation Client
  • “It was a blessing for me to have Gerard on my side during the divorce. He was available for me when I had questions, at any time. My divorce was fast and I got what I was supposed to get. I did not ...”

    - Visi, A Divorce Client
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