Tampa divorce attorneys are constantly asked about the role of a general magistrate in a Tampa family law matter. In short, the Florida Supreme Court and Florida Legislature working together determined that due to the volume of family law cases, including modification matters, circuit court judges were becoming overwhelmed with the number of cases. In an attempt to move cases along faster and clear up dockets, they created a situation where circuit court judges file an initial order referring the matter to a general magistrate within the same courthouse and jurisdiction obviously. This order put the onus on the parties to object to the referral which must timely be done. If the parties do not object, the matter proceeds to a general magistrate, and all findings are ratified by the circuit court judge in the form of an order. As to a remedy, parties may object to findings of the general magistrate through what are called exceptions. These exceptions are filed in the underlying matter and filed prior to the order being ratified by the presiding, overseeing circuit court judge.
As to whether this is beneficial for our clients, we analyze this on a case-by-case matter. In some instances, a general magistrate may be better for the matter, while in other cases a circuit court judge may be preferred. Ultimately, though, until we’ve had an opportunity to consider the unique facts of your case, it is impossible to make this determination responsibly.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning a Tampa family law matter, contact the Tampa family law attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ve handed hundreds of family law matters throughout the Tampa Bay area and always offer free case consultations. If you would like to contact one of our attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website or our free chatbox in the lower right hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time in checking out our Tampa family law attorney blog and we look forward to working with you.