Divorce can be challenging for a lot of people, especially when the public nature of the hearings can leave all of the details of your private life exposed to everyone.
In recent years, many affluent and notable couples have opted for private judges to handle their divorce proceedings. A private judge (or judge pro tem) is chosen and paid for by the divorcing couple by agreement, and they can issue binding orders involving custody, spousal support, the division of the marital assets and more. Private judges offer the following benefits:
1. A more efficient divorce process
Unlike traditional court systems, which often have backlogs and limited available court dates, private judges can schedule hearings and proceedings promptly. This allows couples to reach a resolution much faster, sparing them from lengthy waiting periods and additional stress.
2. Highly tailored expertise
The luck of the draw dictates which judge will hear your case in court. With a private judge, you can choose a judge who has more experience with family law and the particular issues you face. That can make it easier for the judge to parse nuances in the law and help look for fair solutions to critical problems.
3. Flexible scheduling
If you and your spouse have complicated lives and a lot of obligations, clearing your calendar for court appearances can be difficult. With a private judge, the process can be tailored around your schedules – not the court’s docket.
4. Customized solutions
Regular judges don’t have the time (nor the inclination) to look for creative solutions to complex issues involving asset division, custody and parenting plans and other difficult matters. They often rely on “cookie-cutter” formulas that can leave everybody unsatisfied. A private judge is only focused on a few cases at a time, so that allows them to facilitate more creative solutions that are mutually beneficial to all parties.
5. Reduced conflict
The adversarial nature of a litigated divorce can cause tensions to escalate between the parties, making peaceful resolutions harder to reach. The informal setting of a judge’s office and the focus on cooperative efforts can make it easier for a couple to remain amicable. That can make reaching agreements easier and help preserve a good co-parenting relationship.
Sure, there is some expense in hiring a private judge, but you can still realize significant cost savings through the expedited divorce process through lower legal fees and less time taken away from your careers.
7. Enhanced privacy
When you use a private judge, the proceedings are closed. The public may not even be aware of your divorce until everything is hashed out and settled. That can preserve your reputation in the community and protect your personal or corporate brand identity.
The decision to divorce is always fraught with a lot of concerns. Fortunately, legal guidance is available. At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.
Let Me Be Your Brave
Mia Poppe, Esq.