Your follow up questions is, probably, “… and WHAT is a General Magistrate, anyway?” In Florida, a General Magistrate is an attorney that is appointed by a Family Law judge to hear testimony and to provide recommendations on how the judge should rule on specific issues within the divorce case. By referring entire cases or specific issues to a general magistrate, judges are able share their workloads, reducing the overall time that it takes for contested divorce cases to be finalized. A party who wants to fast-track their case may file a Motion For Referral To General Magistrate, however, the opposing party may file an objection to the referral. Alternatively, the court may, on its own, enter an order referring the entire case or only specific issues (e.g. alimony, child custody, equitable distribution) to a general magistrate.
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