A private judge can help keep family issues out of the public eye

Celebrity divorces have all of the same issues that any other divorce is likely to have, but they also often include special complications like high-value assets that have to be divided and intense media scrutiny and speculation every step of the way.

It's usually the families of the celebrities that end up suffering the most, especially if there are minor children involved. One or both of the celebrities might also find their reputation in tatters, as reporters pick apart details of the legal filings to speculate about in order to get just a little more press out of every mundane motion as the divorce proceeds.

That's the apparent reason that actress Angelina Jolie and actor Brad Pitt have decided to put on a decidedly united front while they go through the process of dividing up their lives. The couple announced that for the sake of their six children, they've agreed to seal all the court documents pertaining to their divorce case and custody issues and use the services of a private judge.

Could your divorce take a lesson from theirs?

Any high-profile divorce case could possibly benefit from the use of private judgment, which allows couples to keep the details of their divorce out of the public record while they negotiate their way through things like child custody and the division of assets.

There are some other benefits of using a private judge:

--You can choose a judge with extensive experience that speaks to your situation and that you feel will be impartial. With the public court system, the judge will be assigned to you.

--There's usually more flexible scheduling available, which can accommodate not only a celebrity's career demands but the demands of any high-profile or high-stress career.

--Decisions are generally reached more quickly since you generally aren't fighting your way through a backlog of other cases. A private judge has control over how many cases he or she is handling at any one time.

Using a private judge doesn't guarantee that you'll reach a resolution without any disagreements or bumps in the road, but it can go a long way toward insulating you and your children from unnecessary intrusions into your privacy.

An attorney can provide more information on divorce litigation, including high-profile, high-asset situations.

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