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Divorce Alternatives For The Very Wealthy


Do you cringe at the thought of your nasty divorce laundry being in public view?  Are you aghast at the thought of having your case meander through the courts for months, or maybe even years?  There’s good news for you then—if you’ve got the money to pay for it; a private, streamlined divorce is within your grasp.

One-Stop Shopping for Divorce 

For about the last 50 years, the rich and famous have bypassed traditional public courtrooms in order to engage in a more private, quick divorce. It simply requires couples to submit a legal document indicating their intention to hire a private judge—generally one who is retired– to oversee matters in their divorce.  The county needs to sign off on it, and the private judge gets essentially the same powers of any public judge. And the litigants never have to show up in court for the proceedings… isn’t that convenient!  Sounds perfect. Since the proceedings are not a matter of public record, no one needs to hear your business—including the press. The only drawback is the price—private judges can run anywhere for $600 to $900 an hour and more.

Celebrity Divorces 

Plenty of rich and famous people have taken advantage of private divorce, including these A-listers:

  • Jennifer Aniston;
  • Sean Penn;
  • Charlie Sheen;
  • Kelly Clarkson;
  • Chris Pratt;
  • Elon Musk.

Anyone Can Do It

 Private divorce is not the exclusive domain of the famous, however.  Literally anyone can hire a retired judge to oversee their divorce.  More and more, those who have the resources to fork over several thousand dollars a day are taking advantage of this streamlined option for divorce.  One private judge in California notes that while she’s overseen hundreds of celebrity divorces, she’s worked for thousands of ordinary people like dentists, business owners, and other executives. Even if people don’t need a private judge to hear the entire divorce case, one can be hired to address specific issues that may be on a tight timeline.  For instance, one private judge was hired to rule on where a couple’s teen should attend school.  They needed a decision before the school year began, and the public courts were too backlogged to get it done in time. After that decision came down, the couple went back to the public system to deal with the rest of the divorce issues.

Florida Law 

Under Florida statute, judges who work in this capacity must be in good standing with the Florida bar for 5+ years.  The divorcing couple, with their attorneys’ advice, may pick the right judge for their situation based on published credentials and reputation.

Ready for Divorce? 

If you are ready to pursue divorce, the experienced Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman are here to pursue your divorce goals on your behalf.  Whether that means selecting a traditional divorce or the high-speed trajectory of a private divorce, we are on your side.  To discuss the possibilities, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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