We all know what a referee is in the context of sports. What you may not know is that a referee can be appointed to hear a divorce case. Under North Carolina law, a judge may appoint a referee to listen to both parties, pour through the evidence, financial forms, statements, and issue recommendations to the court.

The parties to a family law action can request a referee, or a judge may decide that a case is complex and potentially time-consuming, or requires an expertise the court does not have that the services of an experienced attorney are necessary. Regardless of the reason for the appointment of a referee, it’s vital that the referee not only knows the law, have great experience in almost every aspect of family law, but also have the capacity to work with the parties to garner as much information as possible before making her ruling.

It’s important to note that the court is not bound by the referee’s ruling. Just like the NFL and MLB, the guys in the booth review the referee’s ruling. Just like the review booth, the court may accept the ruling in full, modify it, or reject it outright. The court may also return the matter to the referee for further clarification and correction, which, of course, leads to further delays, more costs, and more stress for the parties involved.

Triangle Smart Divorce’s Jenny Bradley has frequently been appointed a referee by local district court judges.

Unlike the vast majority of NFL referees and MLB umpires, in her long history as a referee, Jenny has never had a recommendation returned for more work; meaning they were all clear. We believe that infers that her decisions are clear and complete. Perhaps her experience as an intramural official throughout college has influenced her more than she is aware.

Judges need to rely on the referees they appoint. They rely on them to do the detailed, in-depth work that just isn’t feasible for the court to conduct due to time constraints and specialty knowledge. Jenny is pleased to be so frequently chosen by the courts to be a referee. She considers it a privilege and is happy to serve.


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What our clients say

"Across three states, Jenny was hands-down the best divorce lawyer I worked with! Authentic, savvy, insightful, tough, empathetic and effective. Can ’t say enough good things about her."


Former Client

"The entire staff at Triangle Smart Divorce has been wonderful. My divorce has been extremely complicated and difficult, they have helped and been successful at every turn. They are more than competent and are also very compassionate individuals. They will and do walk you through each and every step to obtain the best results for you. An amazing team!"


Former Client

"I would rate everything about my experience with Triangle Smart Divorce as 5 stars. The hardest step of any big decision is the first step. Jessica set the tone from the very first phone call. She was compassionate, calming and reassuring. The whole team has continued to work to maintain a supportive environment during the most difficult time of my life. I’m very grateful."


Former Client

"Jenny Bradley and her team at Triangle Smart Divorce was the best decision I made. "


Former Client

"Great firm! An outstanding group of professionals who are knowledgeable and care about their clients. I recommend Julianne and the firm to my clients and friends needing divorce and family law services."


Former Client

"I felt heard, understood and listened to. Always there when I needed them! Had my best interest at heart and never let me down!"


Former Client

"Outstanding firm. Try to work with their clients. Listens like a therapist. I am thoroughly pleased with the services I have been provided."


Former Client

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