Divorce: Resolving Matters Through Arbitration
Going through a divorce is one of life’s most challenging events. At Jones Divorce and Family Law our goal is to minimize the emotional and financial strain of your divorce and offer meaningful access to justice. We do this by tailoring alternative dispute resolutions to your specific needs. Today, we will be looking at arbitration.
Why Use Arbitration In Your Divorce
Arbitration is a method of private and confidential dispute resolution in which parties agree to be bound by the decision of an independent third party (the arbitrator). The arbitrator renders a decision on the matters submitted to the arbitrator based on the evidence and argument presented. The arbitration process can be tailing to meet the needs of both parties, with the timing, format and method of presentation of evidence and argument chosen by the parties. In the absence of an agreement, however, the default is a more formal process controlled by the arbitrator and governed by principles and natural justice which permit each party to present their evidence and argument to the arbitrator. The arbitration takes place in a private boardroom. Parties can either represent themselves or be represented by legal counsel. An arbitrated decision takes the place of a trial judgement.
The Advantages of Arbitration Over Traditional Litigation
There are many advantages to resolving disputes using arbitration as opposing to traditional litigation. For starters, arbitration can be much more affordable. The arbitration process is much more streamlined than a court trial and as such is more conducive to parties acting on their own behalf without lawyers. This results in a far less expensive process. As well, in arbitration there is much more consistency as the arbitrator is the same professional through the entire process. As a result, the arbitrator becomes familiar with the parties, their circumstances and the details of their personal dynamics. This is different from a traditional litigation where parties can appear in front of multiple Judges with varying perspectives and approaches. Finally, arbitration is confidential. The sessions are private, as are the communications and notes made throughout the arbitration. Litigation involves public court appearances and documentation of evidence all of which becomes part of the public record.
What Does The Arbitration Process Look Like?
The arbitration process beings with an initial arbitration meeting. This session will allow the arbitrator and clients to identify the issues to be resolved, determine whether or not there are any emergent matters, identity any witnesses to provide evidence, set timelines, determine the ability to appeal and determine steps, if any, required prior to the hearing, such as gathering financial statements. The arbitration hearing then allows parties to present evidence and arguments. Many arbitration only involve the parties themselves presenting evidence but some include third party witnesses, such as business valuators or child psychologists. Finally, the Arbitration Award is granted. The Arbitration Award is the binding decision that is issued by the arbitrator. The award is rendered within on month of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing.
If you are going through a divorce and think arbitration is right for you and your family, connect with us to set up an initial consultation and learn more today.