Arbitration is an Alternative to a Court Date
In arbitration, both parties agree to appoint an attorney to settle the issues on which they cannot agree. These issues can include child custody, child support, spousal support, parenting time, and property division.
Arbitration works well for:
- Cases in which each spouse wants finality.
- High-conflict cases that the court has trouble scheduling, because of the time needed to hear the issues.
The arbitrator’s authority is determined by the contract the parties sign, so it’s important to consider carefully which issues you want the arbitrator to consider.
Once the arbitrator makes a final recommendation, the settlement is submitted to a judge, who must approve the settlement unless the arbitrator breaks very limited rules. Parts of the arbitrator’s decision cannot be appealed.
Advantages of arbitration:
- The parties and their attorneys choose the arbitrator.
- The arbitrator usually resolves disputes in less time than in a court case.
- Sessions tend to be less formal than court hearings, which sometimes makes people more comfortable and confident about having their say.
- Attorneys are present to help.
- Appointments are scheduled with the arbitrator; no other cases compete for attention.
- The parties, not the court calendar, usually determine the amount of time the arbitrator spends on the case.