Arbitration is the choice of couples who are unable to settle issues through negotiation or mediation, but still wish to settle out of court.

Arbitrators are essentially privately hired judges. To handle a family law matter, the arbitrator is usually a senior family law specialist.

Some of the advantages of arbitration are:

  • Ability to choose an arbitrator based on your lawyer’s recommendation
  • Setting strict process deadlines
  • Scheduled meeting with the arbitrator rather than being on a waiting list
  • Most arbitration begins with mediation in an effort to reach a settlement, which often happens
  • Arbitration is usually a faster process than court proceedings
  • You decide how formal or informal the process will be

As with any resolution tactic, there can be some disadvantages to an arbitrated settlement. The main disadvantage is that once you agree to arbitration and an arbitrator, it is almost impossible to change the process. So, for example, if you are dissatisfied with what is happening in the arbitration or feel the arbitrator does not like you, you are unable to opt out of the process.