Family Arbitration FAQ

Is my case suitable for family arbitration?

In situations where you need evidence from third parties, or there’s a risk that your partner could hide assets, then family arbitration might not be suitable as an agreement might not be reached.

Arbitration is however a more cost-effective solution than solving your financial issues in court. It also gives both parties a major say in how things proceedings are run in terms of when proceedings happen and how to handle financial disclosure.

Family arbitration – how does it differ from family mediation and collaborative law?

The difference between family arbitration and family mediation is that a mediator will help each party to reach their own agreement in their dispute, while an arbitrator will listen to both parties and reach his own decision.

Arbitration is binding and means both sides must fulfil their part in that decision, while mediation isn’t binding, it’s up to the affected parties whether they choose to abide by the decision which is reached.

What are the advantages of family arbitration?

The main advantage of family arbitration is the speed by which a dispute can be resolved. As soon as an arbitrator is willing to deal with matters, it’s up to the parties to agree on a timetable by which to take action. Family arbitration cases are also confidential, flexible and the costs are considerably less than court proceedings. The parties seeking to resolve their disputes can also choose their arbitrator under the IFLA scheme, whereas in court, the parties wouldn’t be able to decide on a judge.

Family arbitration – an alternative to court?

Family arbitration is a good alternative to court as it can resolve family disputes regarding finances and property, even commercial disputes. The benefits are it can allow couples to reach an agreement without having to go through the expense of the courts. A family arbitration law allows the parties to share the costs equally although the arbitrator has the power to make an order where one party pays more than the equal share. Any legal advice received during the process is paid for separately by the parties involved.

At the end of the arbitration process, an award will be issued which is binding between the parties. This is the same as if the decision has been enforced by the courts.

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