Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. The parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person (an “arbitrator”) to adjudicate a dispute and make an award.
In family arbitration you and your partner appoint an arbitrator, who will make a decision that will be final and binding upon you both.
Family arbitration enables couples going through family breakdown to resolve disputes more quickly, confidentially and in a more flexible and less formal setting than a courtroom.
The same arbitrator will deal with all stages of the case from start to finish and you and your partner have the major say in how the proceedings are run. This could include, for example, choosing the venue, whether to meet face to face or in writing only, or whether to use the arbitrator for the whole process or just parts of it that you are stuck on.
The flexibility and the fact that you will get a final decision much more quickly can make arbitration more cost-effective than court.
Advantages to Family Arbitration
- Arbitration is likely to take significantly less time than court proceedings. Subject to the arbitrator’s availability, the timetable is for you to agree. The parties avoid the risk of a case being adjourned or not finished because of pressure on court time or a judge becoming unavailable.
- The entire process is protected by strict confidentiality.
- The parties have to pay the arbitrator’s fees, the cost of any venue which is hired, and the cost of a transcription service, if required. However, the ability to limit financial disclosure and the scope of the dispute, if properly utilised by the parties, can in many cases lead to a cost saving, as the parties can agree to slim their case down and concentrate on the essential points to be decided.
- The process is flexible as the parties and the arbitrator have considerable discretion over the procedures they adopt in order to reach a fair result. The parties define the scope of their arbitration. It is possible for the arbitration to be completed on paper, if the parties agree or the arbitrator decides this is the best approach, further reducing costs.
- The parties in consultation with the arbitrator have complete flexibility as to the time and place of hearings.
- Parties to a dispute do not have the right to choose their judge, but they do have the right to choose their arbitrator. Knowing that a dispute will be resolved by a selected specialist with appropriate experience will be very attractive to many parties and their advisers. Once appointed, the arbitrator deals with all stages of the case from start to finish.
Please contact Tony Roe to discuss our arbitration service.