Family Law Library

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where parties (or their lawyers) will present arguments to a chosen arbitrator who will make a determination to resolve the dispute. This type of dispute resolution is available to parties who are disputing financial matters, such as spousal support, property settlement, and financial agreements. Arbitration is not, however, an appropriate venue to settle disputes related to children.

Arbitration is almost like a hybrid of court proceedings and mediation. It is similar to mediation in that it is an out of court settlement method, however it differs from mediation in that in mediation the parties work to reach their own agreement. There are some advantages to choosing arbitration as a means to settle a financial dispute. For instance, this process allows the parties to retain much more control and it is more flexible than going to court. You get to choose the arbitrator, who is the ultimate decision maker, and it is also quicker and less expensive than the court process.

Arbitration can be especially appealing to those who have disputes about both children and financial matters. For these parties, they can address parenting issues through mandatory family dispute resolution and subsequently arbitrate their financial dispute without delay.