The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not you need a mediator, a private judge, or both. Going with a mediator means that you and your spouse communicate with the help of a neutral third party and strive to come to compromise positions about things like the distribution of marital assets, custody and time sharing.
You might call in a private judge if there are issues that you know you and your spouse will not be able to agree upon during mediation. The judge will review all of the information and determine who gets what.
There are times when you can agree on all but one or two things. In these cases, you can use a mediator to take care of most of the settlement and then work with a private judge to rule on the remaining issues.
Steps in a Mediated and Privately Judged Case
1. File a Stipulation with the court.
2. If you wish to use a private judge, inform the court, and this individual will be appointed as Judge Pro Tempore by the residing judge.
3. If you wish to handle your case through mediation, you can inform your judge at any point during the court process. Contact the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program to receive a list of mediators you can use. This list will include a mediator’s experience, background, and any training he or she completed.
4. Prepare a written statement and complete any paperwork requested. Give the mediator time to review your case and get details from both sides.
5. Attend mediation sessions to negotiate any disputes. Once you have reached an agreement, the mediator can help you draw up a contract that you both sign.
6. If the mediation sessions do not resolve your issues, you must attend your next court date. At that point, you may request a new mediation session with a different mediator if you believe it will help. If you believe that you will be unable to compromise, you may hire a private judge to settle unresolved disputes.
7. Once disputes are over, both couples sign a final decree of divorce, which details the complete division of assets.
8. You may file an appeal if you are not satisfied with the end results of the judge’s ruling.
The team at the Law Offices of Silky Sahnan can guide you through this entire process and ensure a discreet, fair outcome that meets your and your children’s needs and protects you financially. Schedule a confidential consultation with us by calling 888-228-1098.