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What does it mean to use a private judge in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Divorce |

Going through a divorce is never easy, especially in cases with extensive litigation and court appearances. However, there are several alternate methods available to you in California. If both parties agree, one option is to hire a private judge to handle your case.

Private judging is similar to arbitration, which resembles a trial in some ways but is private and less formal. At the same time, private judging covers everything involved in a divorce, including property division and child custody. This offers several potential advantages:

  • Unlike a divorce in family law court, which is a matter of public record, evidence and testimony under private judging are kept private. Nobody can dig up the personal details of your divorce.
  • A private judge does not have a huge backlog of cases on their schedule like the family court does. Unless there are major complications, you can expect to resolve your divorce faster.
  • You and your spouse can choose the private judge who will preside over your case. This means you can guarantee that the judge is experienced in family law and divorce. In court, you cannot know for sure that the judge assigned to you has a family law background.

However, private judging is not the right fit for every divorcing couple. For one thing, hiring an experienced private judge tends to be expensive. If cost is a factor, other options like mediation or traditional family court might make more sense. If you are considering using a private judge you should always discuss your options and position with an experienced attorney. Ultimately, you want a divorce process that minimizes the conflict your family experiences while also protecting your future.