The increasing burden on court dockets has resulted in substantial delays in resolving family law cases. Referees act as private judges to arbitrate and decide all issues in divorce and parental rights cases. If a case involves extensive assets, businesses, trusts, marital and non-marital property; or if the case requires ongoing case management, choosing a referee to handle the case is generally more efficient and cost-effective. Pretrial issues can be more readily resolved because a conference or interim hearing with the referee is much easier to schedule than a conference with a judge. If a trial becomes necessary and a day or more is needed to hear the matter, a trial can be scheduled to accommodate the parties’, lawyers’ and witnesses’ schedules. Conferences, interim and final hearings can be held by Zoom video conferencing and eliminate the need to travel.
Kristin A. Gustafson has extensive experience as a court-appointed referee managing and deciding all issues in family law cases from inception through final hearing. She is knowledgeable in analyzing and applying the governing law and is skilled in drafting final judgments for submission to the court. Referee services are available in any family law matter in which the parties are represented by attorneys.