Family arbitration is a form of private dispute resolution in which you and your ex-partner appoint a fair and impartial family arbitrator to resolve your dispute. Both of you enter into an agreement under which you appoint a suitably qualified person (an arbitrator) to adjudicate a dispute concerning finances or children. The arbitrator’s decision is called an Award (finances) or a Determination (children). Linda is a qualified children arbitrator.
The principal benefits of family arbitration are:
Speed: the timetable is up to the parties to agree. And arbitration is likely to take significantly less time than court proceedings.
Confidentiality: the entire process is protected by strict confidentiality.
Costs: it can be a lot less expensive than going to court. Both parties pay the arbitrator’s fees, the costs of a venue and the cost of a transcription.
Flexibility: both parties and the arbitrator have discretion over the procedure they adopt.
Choice of arbitrator: in court you can’t choose the judge; in arbitration you get to choose the arbitrator.
Arbitration and mediation can complement each other. The mediator can recommend that the use of arbitration, particularly if there is a discrete issue that cannot be resolved in mediation. Arbitration, unlike court, can deal with a single issue.
The decision of the arbitrator is the equivalent of a final judgement and is binding on the parties.