Arbitration is an alternative to a trial.
In arbitration, both parties agree to appoint an attorney to settle outstanding issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, parenting time, and division of property.
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.
- Hearings are private.
- Sessions tend to be less formal than court hearings.
- 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.
- You have the chance to have your case heard by an expert on your particular issues.
Selecting the Best Divorce Process for You