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Bucks County Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Family Law > Is Arbitration An Option For Me?

Is Arbitration An Option For Me?


If you and your spouse are moving forward with a divorce and want to avoid litigation but are unable to land on a divorce agreement through discussion, you may be wondering what options are available. Areas of contention are common, but there is a solution that could meet your needs that may not require litigation. Division or property and assets as well as child custody arrangements can be addressed through arbitration.

A Bucks County family attorney can walk you through the pros and cons of reaching a final agreement through arbitration. An arbitrary is an outside third party, which can provide clarity when a couple finds themselves experiencing ongoing disagreements.

What Makes Arbitration Unique?

Arbitration is different from mediation and litigation, which are two other divorce alternatives. Mediation is when you and your spouse agree to a third party assisting you through the process of reaching an agreement on divorce terms. While a mediator is often a legal professional, they have no authority to make final decisions, they are simply there to offer suggestions and guide the individuals involved through the process of drafting a divorce agreement.

When you pursue litigation, a judge will issue a determination. They have the final say when it comes to your New Jersey or Pennsylvania divorce settlement. This option can be long, emotional, and expensive.

In a way, arbitration is similar to mediation in that it utilizes a third party, but in contrast the arbitrator is given the authority to have the final say on divorce term decisions. It is often a faster option than litigation, and can reduce the overall cost of the divorce. Plus, arbitration is confidential and a court record is public. If confidentiality is a priority, this could tip the scales to you and your spouse choosing arbitration.

Who Is the Arbitrator?

Often retired judges or attorneys, arbitrators are professionals who understand state and federal laws. Once you connect with an arbitrator, they will likely schedule a hearing months in advance, possibly up to a calendar year. Before the hearing, information can be provided to support why you think the arbitrator should rule in one way or another.

To dispute the final decision of an arbitrator, paperwork must be filed within a month of the ruling. It is rare for an arbitrator’s ruling to be overturned as part of agreeing to arbitration is agreeing to the final outcome as a binding decision. That said, a Bucks County family attorney can inform you of your options should you feel a final decision was not correct.

Is it time for you to learn about the differences between mediation, arbitration, and litigation? Exploring your options so you know you are making the right choice for you and your future is an essential part of the divorce process. The family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand will fight for your best interests. Our lawyers can advise you through the divorce process and provide you with information about possible paths forward. Call 215-968-6602 to get started.

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