Family arbitration is a form of judging that takes place privately. It can be used for most children and financial cases, is quicker and more flexible than going to court and usually more cost-effective.
Often when you divorce or separate, it's difficult to agree on how to split your finances or on arrangements for your children. If this is the case for you and you cannot reach an agreement through mediation or negotiation, you can appoint an arbitrator instead of going to a judge at court. Not every kind of case is eligible but arbitration can be used for most of the main issues that you're likely to come across.
The key advantages are:
- Speed - you get a decision much more quickly with arbitration than by going to court
- Choice of arbitrator -you choose the independent expert best suited to your situation and pocket. Arbitrators are experienced solicitors, barristers, legal executives and retired judges
- Choice of issues -you choose what you want the arbitrator to rule on
- Continuity -the same arbitrator deals with all steps in your case from start to finish
- Flexibility and control - in contrast, court processes can be a straitjacket.
- Confidentiality -there is no possibility of media reporting
- Potential cost savings -although you pay for the arbitrator, the ability to limit the issues, adapt the process and get a decision more quickly tends to reduce costs
Our national team are qualified to act as arbitrators in both children and financial matters and offer a genuine and valuable alternative to court.
Recent examples include:
- A dispute between unmarried couple over their various properties with complicating factors around the sale of a business. We were able to agree changes to the procedures that would have applied if we had gone to court, offering a more comprehensive and effective approach to the issues and saving time and cost
- A case where time was short for a decision to be made about which school a couple's child should attend. The arbitrator's ruling was made in time for the move of school at the beginning of the next school year, avoiding a potential switch mid-term