Family Arbitration – An alternative to the Court process

by Kidd Rapinet on January 30, 2024
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Resolving financial matters and child arrangements through arbitration

Resolving disputes through Court proceedings can cause delays and often gives rise to greater expense due to the extensive process. Due to this, determining disputes outside of Court through alternative dispute resolution has become more prevalent. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, and offers a flexible and confidential process, which can be used to help separating couples to settle disputes. Arbitration can be used to decide all financial matters, specific aspects of a dispute or disputes relating to children. The arbitrator can resolve the whole dispute by making a final decision, or just one part of it. Both you and your ex-partner must agree to submit the dispute to arbitration.

Benefits of Arbitration

  • You have the say in how the proceedings run. Therefore, arbitration is less formal than Court proceedings. The arbitration can take place using just documents, zoom or face-to-face in an environment of your choice. Unlike Court proceedings, there is no requirement to undertake mediation information and assessment meetings before starting arbitration.
  • Having the freedom of choosing where arbitration takes place makes the process more flexible in comparison to Court proceedings.
  • Arbitration is confidential. It takes place between yourself and your ex-partner, and others whom you authorise.
  • If an application is made to Court, costs can increase. If you have to proceed to a final hearing, costs could be as much as £30,000 plus VAT or more depending on the complexity of the issues. Arbitration is more cost-effective. You, your ex-partner and the family arbitrator will agree the level of the family arbitrator’s fees at the start of the process. These costs will usually be shared between you and your ex-partner.
  • Should Court proceedings become contested, they can take anything between 9 and 15 months to resolve. Arbitration is likely to be a lot quicker in that, once the arbitrator prepares a decision, called an “arbitral award”, it will be made into a Court order on an expedited basis.
  • Unlike Court proceedings, when parties go through arbitration they have the confidence in that the same person will deal with the dispute from start to finish. A family arbitrator is an experienced family specialist lawyer.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

This article was brought to you by Kidd Rapinet Maidenhead’s family solicitors. You can book an appointment with any of the family lawyers across our other offices in Aylesbury, Canary Wharf, Farnham, High Wycombe, Maidenhead or Slough, using the form provided.  Please use the links provided to find more information on divorce or separation, child arrangements and other areas of family law.

These materials and content have been prepared for the benefit of their viewers/readers. They are intended for marketing purposes only and are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice applicable to any particular facts or circumstances. Kidd Rapinet LLP and/or the author(s) accept no duty of care, responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which you or any third party may suffer as a result of any reliance or use by you or them of these marketing materials and content, except to the extent it is not legally possible to exclude such liability. If you require legal advice on your own situation, please contact us so we can discuss how we may assist

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