Private Trial Offers Quick Resolution for Boca Raton Divorces
For those willing to pay, Florida law offers couples going through a divorce to submit their case for voluntary trial resolution, which allows them to reach a settlement without ever having to step foot in court.
What is Voluntary Trial Resolution?
Voluntary trial resolution is similar to arbitration, and allows a private, faster way of getting the divorce finalized. As you can guess by its name, both parties to the divorce must agree to submit the case for voluntary trial resolution, either before or after the divorce is filed.
Once an agreement is reached, the parties must agree on the selection of a private trial resolution judge. The “judge” is not necessarily an acting judge, but can be an attorney, sitting or retired judge; the only requirement imposed by law is that the individual selected be a member of good standing with the Florida Bar Association for a minimum of five years. If the parties cannot agree on the selection of a trial resolution judge, the court can appoint one.
A case submitted to voluntary trial resolution is handled in the same manner as the more traditional courthouse divorce. All the same rules of evidence apply, so parties can call witnesses, request discovery and submit motions for certain evidence to be ruled admissible or inadmissible. The trial resolution judge may render a final decision that is binding on both parties. If one party later fails to abide by the terms of the decision, the other party can seek to enforce it in court.
Voluntary trial resolution is not available for cases involving child custody or child support, whether seeking an initial order or later modification.
Benefits of Voluntary Trial Resolution for Boca Raton Divorces
A contested divorce can take six months or longer to resolve, with some taking more than a year due to the court’s heavy caseload. This leaves many couples feeling as if their lives are on hold while they wait for the case to be resolved. And the longer the case drags on, the higher the chance of the parties continuing to squabble over trivial issues, simply because everything is still on the table.
Cases submitted to voluntary trial resolution are resolved much more quickly, because there is no waiting for a spot on the judge’s calendar to open up. If a trial resolution judge is too busy to take your case, you simply look for a new one who can accommodate you, as opposed to being handed a trial date a year from now.
They are also completely private, which is of particular importance to those involved in a high-profile or high net-worth divorce. The public is not permitted to attend the hearing, so no information regarding details of the marriage or finances will become public.
Boca Raton Divorce Attorneys Helping You Find a Resolution
Divorce can often be a lengthy process, which not only makes many people feel stuck in limbo, but also increases the possibility that either spouse will come up with new issues to fight over, or to withdraw previous areas of agreement. At Schwartz | White, our Boca Raton divorce attorneys have more than 50 years’ combined experience helping our clients reach a swift and equitable end to their marriage. Contact our office today at 561.391.9943 to discuss whether a voluntary trial resolution is right for you.