Former Gov. James E. McGreevey and his estranged wife were back at the Union County Courthouse on Thursday morning as their lawyers met behind closed doors with a judge to hash out a settlement.

Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy decided to further delay testimony in the case, giving James and Dina Matos McGreevey a third day to try and reach an agreement, said court spokeswoman Sandra Thaler-Gerber.

"In a family matter, it's very crucial of the parties to reach consent instead of a judge making a decision," Thaler-Gerber said.

The couple's lawyers met with Cassidy for 90 minutes. Thaler-Gerber said the lawyers were expected to speak with their clients and then report back to the judge before lunch.

The former governor and his wife split in 2004 after he resigned in disgrace over a gay affair. They had been married for four years.

Issues in the case include custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter, child support and alimony, and a marriage fraud claim by Matos McGreevey.

James McGreevey stepped down during his first term in office after a nationally televised speech in which he acknowledged being "a gay American" and said he had an affair with a male staffer. The staffer has denied the affair and claims he was sexually harassed by McGreevey.

In the 3 1/2 years since the breakup, James McGreevey took up residence at the home of his boyfriend and began studying for the Episcopal priesthood while Matos McGreevey became a sometime analyst on cable television shows. Both wrote tell-all books and promoted them on Oprah Winfrey's television show.