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Specialty tag(s): Divorce Arbitration, Divorce

What Is Arbitration in a Divorce?

Eric Robertson | July 27, 2023

three people in a business meeting

If you’ve ever considered alternative dispute resolution options to settle a dispute, you might have heard this word and wondered about the meaning of arbitration. What is arbitration? The definition, simply put, is that arbitration is a process in which people having a disagreement choose a third party to decide the outcome. Arbitration offers an alternative approach where both parties involved in a legal dispute maintain their respective family lawyers. Instead of the traditional court setting, where a judge determines the case’s outcome, a certified arbitrator takes on this responsibility. Arbitration can resolve conflicts that arise due to divorce, labor issues, community disputes, and contractual disagreements. Using arbitration helps couples seeking a divorce to avoid a lengthy or costly trial. Arbitration occurs in private, and it’s usually a simpler process, with each party waiving their right to a trial by jury. Then, working with their respective divorce lawyer to present their evidence and arguments to the arbitrator. The arbitrator makes a decision regarding the matter at hand. This decision is called the award of the arbitrator. This award is reviewed by a judge and becomes the official verdict. The arbitrator’s decision usually cannot be appealed and is legally binding.

Arbitrators have a legal background and may have worked as a family lawyer, a judge, or a related professional. All arbitrators are trained and certified and those working with Goranson Bain Ausley are no different; they are American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) certified arbitrators and have the knowledge and experience needed to effectively and fairly address matters related to your family law issue.

What Is the Purpose of Arbitration?

Arbitration may be an effective option for those who are interested in a faster and simpler alternative to traditional divorce litigation through the family court system. Officially, there are four functions that arbitration serves:

  • Resolving contractual disputes
  • Addressing interests in bargaining situations
  • Settling litigated claims
  • Resolving community disputes

Many family law issues can be taken to arbitration, from the division of assets in a divorce to child visitation schedules or spousal support.

Is Arbitration the Same as Mediation?

No, arbitrations and mediation are not the same. When you choose mediation, everyone involved needs to come to an agreement on the outcome: Both parties need to be satisfied. But, when you enter into an arbitration agreement, you’re leaving the outcome in the hands of the arbitrator. This neutral third party will hear both sides, examine all of the evidence, and decide how the disagreement will be resolved.

If you’re interested in using arbitration to resolve a family law dispute, talk to your family lawyer about contacting the experienced attorneys at Goranson Bain Ausley. Our family law offices in AustinDallasFort WorthGranbury, and Plano, have AAML Certified arbitrators who can help resolve your family law matter out of court. Contact us today to learn more about divorce arbitration. 

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