Divorce Arbitration

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Divorce Arbitration

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Divorce arbitration is a dispute resolution method commonly used in family law cases. Divorce arbitration is just one type of resolution method, which has its own benefits and disadvantages depending on the individual case. The following is an essential guide to divorce arbitration and determining what types of cases are best for this form of resolution.

What is divorce arbitration?

Divorce arbitration is considered an alternative dispute resolution process which is used in the context of family law. During divorce arbitration, a third party listens to both parties in the divorce and makes a binding arbitration decision that both parties will have to follow. Divorce arbitration allows for disputes to be settled without having to go to court. Although there are similarities to mediation, arbitration is considered a significantly different method.

When should divorce arbitration be used?

Divorce arbitration is best used for certain types of divorce dispute problems, including: child support issues, child custody, child visitation/parenting time schedules and changes, spousal support, divorce decree modifications, and parental location in cases where the couple is divorced.


Advantages  of arbitration

There are many benefits to using arbitration in a divorce dispute. These benefits include:

Private resolutions. Arbitration is done outside of court and is a private event. If the dispute went to family court, then it would be a public event which would in all likelihood have spectators.

Faster dispute resolution. Arbitration allows for a binding resolution to a dispute without the need to go through court litigation, which can be slow. Arbitration is faster and can be completed as soon as the arbitrator and both parties agree on a date for the meeting.

Disputes get finalized in binding agreements. Arbitration results in a final, binding resolution to a dispute. This means that parties must abide by the decision and cannot change their minds later.

Arbitration is less intimidating. Arbitration is done in a more casual style to encourage both parties to lay out their arguments for the third-party arbitrator. In a courtroom setting, people often get nervous and feel unable to speak their mind; arbitration allows for a more open dialogue that will allow everyone to share their concerns regarding the issue.


Disadvantages of arbitration

As with any divorce dispute resolution method, there are some disadvantages to using arbitration. The primary disadvantage is that arbitration carries a higher risk for contention between both parties after the decision is made. This is because, unlike mediation where both parties arrived at a non-binding mutual conclusion, arbitration involves a third party making a binding agreement which one–or both–parties may greatly dislike. Arbitration decisions can’t be appealed, which could also be a point of contention between the parties in the future.

Arbitration vs mediation

Although arbitration and mediation have some similarities, there are stark differences in the basic legalities of each resolution method.  Unlike mediation, arbitration is ideal between high-conflict parties, due to the fact that the ending agreement in arbitration is a binding one rather than a non-binding agreement as with mediation. Arbitration is a final decision that settles the dispute, whereas mediation leaves the door open for either party to change their mind

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