Arbitration is one option divorcing couples may choose to use in order to resolve various issues relating to division of marital property, child custody and access, child support, and so on. During arbitration proceedings, each spouse presents their case to the arbitrator through their respective Ottawa arbitration lawyers.
The arbitrator is a non-biased third-party there to help the couple make decisions. Arbitration is considered just as formal as litigating matters in Court, yet is completed in a private setting, such as your lawyer’s office or other mutually agreed upon location.
One primary difference in artbtration compared to going to Court is the couple is empowered to decide and choose the arbitrator. They could choose another lawyer or other qualified person, so long as they both agree on the person they select.
Prior to starting the arbitration process, it is important for the parties to discuss with their respective lawyers whether the decisions of the arbitrator will be non-binding or binding. Non-binding decisions can be appealed and litigated in Court where a judge will make the final decision regarding outstanding issues. If the decisions are binding, then the arbitrator’s decisions are similar to that of a judge and can only be challenged on appeal.
One of the primary benefits of using arbitration is the divorcing couple does not have to appear in court. They are able to work towards resolving outstanding issues related to their separation and divorce in a private setting.
Another benefit of arbitration is when the divorcing couple does not want to be present in the same room. Each party can be kept in different rooms, where their wishes are communicated to the arbitrator through their respective lawyers. This can be beneficial when the couple is not amicable towards each other.
In some cases, resolving issues through arbitration can be faster than litigation in Court. Additionally, the costs for the divorce could be less when the couple can resolve outstanding issues faster.
Furthermore, if the couple begins with mediation and has a few outstanding issues they cannot agree upon, these can be resolved with arbitration. Mediators are allowed to become arbitrators, so long as each party has agreed to this prior to starting mediation.
Arbitration can be useful to resolve outstanding issues, but it is not always the best solution for every divorce case. At Davies Law Firm, we will review the different procedures you can use to reach a finalized separation and divorce agreement.
To learn more about arbitration and whether this process could be useful for your separation and divorce, please feel free to contact our Ottawa law firm at (613) 688-0462 to schedule a consultation today.