You really would have preferred an uncontested divorce, but it wasn’t meant to be. You and your spouse simply cannot come to any private agreement on one or more important issues – and that means litigation.
A private judge is an alternative to traditional courtroom proceedings, and they’re permitted under Florida law. Historically, they’ve been used mostly by celebrities who want to keep their private affairs away from public courtrooms (and reporters), but you don’t need to be a celebrity to hire one. They’ve become a popular choice by ordinary couples for the following reasons:
They can give you faster results
Using a private judge can be much quicker than divorcing through the regular court system. The parties can schedule their own hearing and avoid the delays that often occur due to the court’s docket. This can be particularly important if the couple doesn’t want to remain tied up (and tied together) because of litigation very long.
They can help preserve your reputation
As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of using a private judge is that you get to avoid the public process of a traditional court case. If your divorce involves sensitive personal matters or you’re concerned about how the details of your divorce may affect your community or professional standing, private judging can offer more confidentiality.
They offer customized decisions
Private judges can make decisions that are tailored to the specific needs of the parties. In a divorce case, for example, a private judge can consider the unique circumstances of the parties and their children when making decisions about child custody, visitation and support. This can be a huge benefit if one or both parents have high-profile jobs or there’s a complex situation with the children that needs to be finessed.
The use of a private judge has to be agreed upon by both parties, but the advantages are often enough to make such an agreement attractive. Whatever your situation, approach your divorce with an open mind and be willing to explore all your legal options in order to make truly informed decisions.