Divorce proceedings can take a toll on a person’s health. If you have kids, dragging them into the court may not be the best decision for you as a family. Not only does it affect their self-esteem it can also push them into estrangement. Hence, the arbitration process for divorce seems like a better option.
Arbitration occurs when both you and your ex agree to solve your dispute outside of court with the help of an arbitrator(s). It is a contractual agreement. In this case, you also need an arbitrator, someone who is neutral and will not show any bias for any party. Hence, the arbitrator is a judge (usually retired) or a lawyer who receives compensation for settling a divorce case. Both parties have to agree to an arbitrator for this process to be of any benefit.
Arbitration vs. Mediation
There are various benefits of going through an arbitration process instead of taking a divorce case to court. Arbitration and mediation are terms that are often interchangeably used. However, these are different terms. In arbitration, there are three parties: two disputing parties and one neutral party. The same is true for mediation. However, in mediation, the decision is not binding on the parties. They can choose to disregard the decision. The parties are not obliged to follow any ruling.
Mediation is more of a discussion regarding formal processing. The mediator provides suggestions and not a ruling.
Advantages of arbitration
With arbitration, you don’t have to wait for a court date, which can take some time. Instead, both parties can sit down and solve their dispute amicably. You can also be less formal with the other party and solve things swiftly. You also have the privacy that you deserve during the arbitration. People of your own family are only involved in the arbitration.
Moreover, it takes less time to settle a divorce with arbitration and mediation as compared with a court case. Bear in mind that arbitration is no less expensive. However, you don’t end up spending the same amount as you would if you were going to the court.
The arbitration process
Arbitration follows a procedure that involves the following stages:
An arbitration process involves selecting an arbitrator or arbitrator. You may choose one or three arbitrators, depending on your case and requirements. If there are three arbitrators, one is chosen from each side. The third arbitrator is chosen by the nominee arbitrators and is neutral.
The initial procedure involves submitting written documents from both parties. These include statements from each party. One party may require the other to provide relevant documents. Hence, this step involves sharing the documents.
The hearing during an arbitration
The hearing is the step when the three parties get together to put their arguments forward. During this stage, there may be witnesses that provide their testimonies. The hearing may take a day, few days, or even months. It depends on the issue being resolved.
After the arbitrator(s) hear the arguments of both parties, they will give their decision (also known as an award). The decision is binding; both parties must follow it. In some instances, an arbitration decision may be challenged in court. But it happens in case of wrongdoing.
The only downside of an arbitration agreement is that the decision is binding on both parties, even if they do not like it. The decision of the arbitrator is final. You cannot go to court after an arbitration hearing. Also, you cannot appeal to a higher court. In court, you can take the case to a higher court for another trial. The same is not true for a court case.
It is one of the reasons why sometimes people do not prefer to solve a dispute through arbitration.
When to avoid arbitration?
Keep in mind that in some circumstances, going to court is unavoidable. If you were in a toxic and abusive relationship, going to court may be the only solution you have. Do not avoid going to court if you believe that is the right decision for you. In addition to this, your lawyer will guide you regarding the best decision and provide legal counsel.
Arbitration has several advantages. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this method to solve a divorce dispute.