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Arbitration: A possible way to resolve your differences

One thing that you may want to consider during a contentious divorce is seeking help through arbitration. Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution technique that helps you resolve your case outside court.

There are a few significant benefits to using arbitration compared to going to trial. These benefits include:

  • Not having a public trial, which allows you to keep the details of your divorce private
  • Reduced wait times for a resolution to your conflict
  • Having an unbiased third party make decisions that you and your spouse cannot make on your own
  • Being able to choose a binding or nonbinding session

Arbitration is a voluntary process. That means that both parties have to agree to attend the session or sessions necessary to resolve the dispute.

Who oversees an arbitration session?

The person who oversees the session, called the arbitrator, may be a retired judge or experienced family law attorney. The most important factor is that the third party must not have any bias against either party in the case before taking it on. Neither party's own attorney should be the arbitrator. The arbitrator should be agreed upon and not known by either party.

What happens during an arbitration session?

During an arbitration session, you present information about the dispute and how you'd like to see it resolved. Both sides have a chance to make their opinions known, and then the arbitrator examines the evidence. The arbitrator listens carefully during testimonies.

Once the arbitrator reaches a decision, they produce the award, the official name of the determination. The court has to approve the award for it to be confirmed and enforced. Usually, awards are approved, and the grounds to vacating them are limited, meaning that you may not be able to appeal the decision if you don't like it.

If you and your spouse are arguing about parts of your separation agreement or are struggling to come up with a parenting plan, you can look into alternative dispute resolution options to put an end to the conflict. As long as you can agree to come together for the session, you can have a third party make decisions about your case outside the courtroom.

Those who cannot agree to ADR may wish to discuss a trial and what it could mean for them with their attorneys. There are only a few options available for resolving disputes, so choosing the right one for your case is key.

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