Arbitration Is a Cost-effective, Time-saving Divorce Resolution Method
Settling a divorce in a courtroom can take time and money, and not all couples want to take that route. Arbitration provides an alternative option to avoid going to court while still retaining some of the certainties that a trial can provide.
How Does Arbitration Work?
Arbitration is an alternative way to resolve divorce conflicts. For the process of arbitration, the spouses each work with a divorce lawyer, and they also hire a third-party arbitrator to make the final decisions regarding the case. Each party presents their arguments, evidence and witnesses, and then the arbitrator, who is often a lawyer or retired judge, makes the final decision. While similar to a trial in court, it differs from it since the parties need to agree on whether the arbitrator will rule on all or just some of the divorce issues, on the scheduling for the case and on the degree of formality of the case.
Benefits of Arbitration
Arbitration provides wide range of benefits that make it attractive to many couples. Some of these benefits include:
- Faster divorce resolution
- Less expensive
- Privacy and discretion
- Informality of the process
- Collaboration between the spouses
- Certainty of a binding judgement
The Cost of a Trial Versus Arbitration
A divorce can cost thousands of dollars. When couples end up going to court to battle to settle their divorce issues, the cost can increase and even become prohibitive. Arbitration can help couples save money since the process itself takes less time from start to finish. Since couples do not need to wait to schedule a court date based on the judge’s calendar and each divorce lawyer needs less time to prepare for the case, arbitration becomes a more cost-effective option. Preparation for arbitration is somewhat less formal than for a court case, so the lawyers, who are often paid hourly, can spend less time preparing to present their client’s case.
Privacy and Discretion Are Important
The court records of divorces resolved by arbitration are public. However, the actual process is completed in private, which means that you can retain general privacy and discretion about your life, unlike a trial, which is open to the public. When you are negotiating how to divide your assets or how much financial support should be paid, discretion is important. Privacy can also be very valuable when the divorcing couple are parents, who want their issues and their children’s information to remain private.
Arbitration Can Be Helpful When There Are Children Involved in the Divorce
During divorce arbitration, parents can also resolve issues related to child custody and support. If both parties can come to an agreement focusing on the best interests of their children, the resolution of the arbitrator will be accepted by the court. However, if the court decides that the children’s best interests were not served by the judgment, then the court reserves the right to revert the arbitration for those issues.
However, when parents use arbitration to resolve their divorce issues, they also need to agree to the arbitration, hire the arbitrator and accept the rules for their arbitration. This can also benefit their children, who can witness their parents collaborating even as they are negotiating the dissolution of their marriage. Collaboration between the parents tells children that their parents are still willing to work together to resolve issues, something that will come in handy as they move forward with parenting after divorce. It also spares them the emotional trauma of a court battle.
Not all divorce cases need to end up in a contentious trial. Choosing an alternative method of conflict resolution such as arbitration can save you time, money and stress. You can learn more by contacting us at the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner at 215-886-1266 or via our website. Our offices are located in Jenkintown, and we will reach out to schedule a consultation.