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Why You Should Consider Using a Private Judge for Your Los Angeles Divorce

Why You Should Consider Using a Private Judge for Your Los Angeles Divorce
Consider using a private judge for your divorce.

Some divorcing couples are able to reach a complete and final agreement without the assistance of divorce professionals. These couples are rare.

More often, couples have some issues they can agree on, but some issues just seem impossible.

One party is absolutely set on an unreasonably high spousal support amount. One party absolutely will not compromise on child custody.

This is what will happen: the divorce attorneys will exchange facts and arguments. They will negotiate. The parties might agree to compromise, or not. Even the strongest argument may not move a stubborn ex-spouse, if only because it is coming from you and your divorce attorney.

Under these circumstances, it may seem like going to court is the only option. But you’ve heard the horror stories. It takes forever. It’s expensive and draining and horrible in almost every way you can imagine. Your relationship history, parenting, and personal finances are all laid bare before the court, and almost all of this is public record.

To make matters worse, you’re assigned to a judge at random, with virtually no choice over personality or temperament. You’re subject to the court’s schedule and rules.

Unless, you decide to hire a private judge.

Hiring a private judge for your divorce is one of the best, most efficient ways to reach a final and complete settlement. Private judges are usually judges who have retired from the bench or are qualified, neutral attorneys.

How does a private judge help a stubborn spouse progress towards settlement? Well, stubborn spouses usually assume that their ex’s attorney is exaggerating the strength of their case to gain an edge. They can be dismissive and have a skewed view of their chances.

But when a former family law judge, a neutral, who has likely heard hundreds if not thousands of cases says “this is how I would rule” – people tend to listen, especially when staring down the barrel of an expensive trial that they may not win.

It is one of the best ways to break the logjam on difficult issues.

Working with a private judge is efficient.
Working with a private judge is efficient.

Generally, when you work with a private judge, each side exchanges briefs and exhibits. This structure helps narrow the issues and clarifies each side's position. This gives the private judge an opportunity to review, get a handle on the case, and see where each party stands. This structure is an efficient way to begin breaking through on the difficult issues.

One of the many benefits of working with a private judge is that you have some choice over whom you will work with. An experienced divorce attorney will have interacted with many of the private judges in their market. The attorneys can usually agree on a fair private judge that will best suit the case. With this, you get some choice in the matter. Every judge is different, and temperament matters a lot. Further, private judges must follow the same rules of disclosure and conflict of interest that other judges must, which helps assure fairness.

Lastly, if your case goes to court, it becomes public record. Text messages, emails, videos, financial statements, and social media posts are common exhibits. When you work with a private judge your divorce gets some privacy. This is why it is so frequently used in high profile and high net worth divorces.


The Law Office of Emily E. Rubenstein is a full service divorce and family law firm. We proudly serve Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, the South Bay, Glendale, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Encino and all of Los Angeles County.

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