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What Is Divorce Arbitration And It's Advantages And Disadvantages

If a divorce goes through a court of law, a judge who is to make rulings based on the laws of the judicial system oversees it. He really does not have much leniency since he must follow the book. He will hear all of the evidence and then make his rulings depending on his interpretation of current divorce laws. An arbitration is different because it is not overseen by a judge, but rather by an arbitrator. This arbitrator does act like a judge because, in the end, he or she will decide what decisions to make and those decisions will be binding for both parties. However, the arbitrator, unlike a judge, can have a great deal of leniency because all parties can have a say in what the rules will be, instead of following the divorce laws set out by the judicial system.

The Advantages Of Arbitration As Opposed To Going To Court

There are many advantages that seeking arbitration, rather than going to court, can afford both parties. These include:


It can often take many months or even years to decide the outcome of a divorce through the court system. There can be continuances while the other side prepares a defense to what was said at the last hearing, lengthy spaces of time between each hearing, and even appeals after a decision has been made that one party does not agree with. An arbitration speeds up this process because there usually can be no appeals to any decision made and, since there are more arbitrators than judges available, you can have your case heard more quickly.


Due to the fact that divorces through the court system often take such a long time, this also means that they end up costing a lot of money as well. In arbitration you will not have endless hearings, which will dramatically decrease solicitor costs for both of you, and in this situation you don’t necessarily have to hire a solicitor either.


The arbitrator has more flexibility when making decisions than does a judge. This means that each of you can tell your side of the story for the arbitrator to consider in his or her determination or all three of you can even make the decisions together. This helps speed up the process if you both agree on most of the items of your divorce, but need help coming to an agreement on a few stray issues.

The Disadvantages Of Arbitration As Opposed To Going To Court

There are also disadvantages in seeking an arbitration, rather than going to court, for both parties. These include:

No Appeals

In an arbitration decision there can usually be no appeals. Once a decision is made, it is in most cases final. You still may have a better chance of a decision being made in your favor, however, because an arbitrator has more flexibility when making a determination.

Does Not Have To Follow Divorce Laws

An arbitrator is not bound by the divorce laws of the judicial system, he or she can make whatever decision he or she deems best based on his or her own good judgment (which sometimes may not be the “good judgment” that you want).

Now that you know the basics of divorce arbitration, it is up to both parties to decide if it is the best route to go or if you should continue with the process in a courtroom. First, you should decide if divorce arbitration is something you would like to try and, if so, then bring it up to the other party and see if he or she agrees. It may be worth the time and cost savings for both of you.

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