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What is mediation with arbitration?

A cost effective solution

Mediation with Arbitration is a process of dispute resolution in which parties to a conflict agree to refer their matter to a trained, impartial and neutral third party. The parties first attempt to resolve their dispute in an amicable manner through mediation. In the event they are unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution in mediation, an arbitration hearing is conducted and the parties are bound by the decision of the neutral third party (the arbitrator).

It is your choice whether the same neutral party conducts both the mediation and, if necessary, the arbitration. The experience of Jones Divorce & Family Law is that most clients choose to have the same neutral party perform both functions for consistency and to simplify the arbitration.

Mediation with Arbitration offers a solution that is the best of both worlds. While the goal is to reach a harmonious agreement in mediation, should that not be possible, an immediate end to the dispute will be provided through arbitration.

This is likely the most cost-effective option available because the arbitration phase essentially acts as insurance for a timely resolution without the risk of the costs, conflict and turmoil associated with a prolonged litigated dispute.

The entire process is confidential and flexible and offers consistency and personal attention. Parties work with professionals who have the extensive legal training and experience in family and divorce law required to resolve their matter appropriately.

Advantages of mediation with arbitration

The Mediation/Arbitration process is designed to offer clients the advantages of mediation while addressing the disadvantages of both mediation and litigation. In essence, it is the best of both worlds and has numerous advantages as follows:


Mediation/Arbitration can be very cost effective, in comparison to lengthy litigation proceedings. Lawyers are paid by the amount of time spent on a file and, therefore, lengthy litigation tends to be exceedingly expensive despite the fact that parties share the cost of the independent third-party in Mediation/Arbitration whereas a court Justice’s salary is paid by the government.


The setting for mediation is relaxed and informal in comparison to litigation proceedings. As a result, it is less intimidating.


In a Mediation/Arbitration process the parties select the Mediator/Arbitrator. When you go to court to get whatever justice happened to be assigned to your courtroom, which means that your matter may be heard by a Justice that has never practiced any family law when he or she was a lawyer. That Justice’s background could be in criminal law, employment law, corporate or tax law, etc. When you go to Mediation/Arbitration you agree on who the decision-maker will be.


The mediation process is confidential and held in private thereby avoiding exposure of the conflict, and any related information through the formalized filings that are required in the public court system.


You and your ex first have the opportunity to reach an agreement in the mediation phase that in the event you are unable to do so the independent third- party would render a binding decision. As such, there is a guarantee that you will end your dispute in a relatively timely manner, unlike a pure mediation process that may be concluded with outstanding issues in the event the parties cannot agree.


Litigation involves numerous court appearances, all of which are before different Justices. Mediation/Arbitration involves only one independent third party who will hear your entire matter. As a result, there is consistency in decisions, familiarity with the issues, background and parties, which also helps reduce costs by lawyers not having to reiterate the same information over and over.