Arbitration could be welcome in separation cases

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Experiencing family issues such as separations where children are involved, can be often an upsetting and emotional time. But before you end up in Court, where a Judge will rule what is best, arbitration may be an alternative solution.

How can arbitration help?

In an ideal world, all family matters would be able to be dealt with by the parties without the need for any kind of contested arrangement, but in a time where the Courts are increasingly struggling to deal with cases, arbitration offers a real alternative solution to the traditional route of a Court application.

Arbitration can provide a less confrontational arrangement than normal Court proceedings would create. It allows matters to be dealt with in a flexible timetable set by the parties and ensures all conversations remain confidential. It also gives the same finality as a court order would – therefore different process, same outcome.

It is a voluntary process, whereby the parties jointly choose and instruct a qualified arbitrator to deal with their matter – therefore you need to be on at least amicable terms to both agree to this stage. You also need to be willing to commit to being bound by the decision reached.

Already in Court proceedings?

Even if Court proceedings have already been issued, if both parties agree to the use of arbitration, the Court proceedings can be postponed.

It is therefore, never too late to consider the use of arbitration and for the above reasons, I can see a lot more family cases being dealt with in this way going forward.

I have always been a firm advocate of family matters being resolved without the need for formal Court proceedings having to be issued. That said, I have been practising long enough to realise that there are times when parties are unable to agree matters between themselves, therefore it is necessary for an issue to be determined by a Judge.