We can’t reach agreement on our finances during our divorce. What are our options?
“Well first of all I would try and urge you to reach agreement if at all possible and if you have not yet tried mediation I would recommend that you do so because there are now some very experienced mediators whose role is to try and facilitate agreement between the parties. However if it proves not to be possible there is now an alternative to court and that is family arbitration. That means that you decide that your dispute is not going to be decided not by a Judge in the court forum but rather by an arbitrator.”
What are the advantages of arbitration?
“Now there are certain significant advantages to arbitration as opposed to going through the court process. One is that you have the consistency of the same arbitrator throughout the dispute. If you go to court it is possible that you will be seeing 2, or possibly 3 Judges throughout the case. Also you can choose where you want the arbitration to take place, it can take place in the office of the arbitrator, or at any other venue you can agree with your spouse. Complete privacy and confidentiality is observed during the course of arbitration which again isn’t necessarily the case in the court forum. A big advantage is timescales because the courts are inundated with work and there can be long delays between court hearings and a contested court hearing in matrimonial finance for example can typically take 6- 12 months to bring to a conclusion. Within arbitration it should be a much shorter timescale and as a consequence of the shorter timescale it should also be cheaper.”