Family Arbitration can save a mediated divorce from collapsing into a nasty expensive court fight, so should more mediators be paying attention to it as a resource for their clients?
In the very first of a short series of articles, I discover how family arbitration might end up being a powerful new tool in the mediator’s tool kit, as it has done over the pond in the US and Canada. In part two I look at whether it saves the client cash and whether the arbitrator’s choice is constantly enforceable by law, and in part three I will go over the probability of family arbitration growing strongly in the UK, or will it go the method of collaborative law, which (so far) is still mostly unknown by the general public as an option for browsing divorce?
Family Arbitration is the new kid in town in the family law community in England and Wales, and the prospective benefits to separating clients are enormous. My interest in finding out more about family arbitration was originally stimulated by a conversation with New York Mediator Ken Neumann, who explained how useful arbitrators could be in un-sticking a mediation process. “Sometimes,” he described to me, “the couple can not agree on one issue, and they simply desire another person to decide for them.”.
An excellent talk offered by UK Arbitrator Mena Ruparel convinced me that the increase of family arbitration in the UK was a cause worth supporting. I made contact with a number of Arbitrators by means of e-mail on a Friday night, and to my surprise, received a cascade of responses by the Monday morning! I was struck by the evident enthusiasm and interest for arbitration amongst a large range of family law specialists who have certified as family arbitrators, ranging from barristers, mediators and collective attorneys. I include their contributions in the following posts, with thanks.
In other parts of the world, consisting of the United States and Canada, when a mediation process creators, an arbitrator is brought in if the couple wish it, to resolve the argument for them. This is likewise how it can work here – but currently not nearly enough solicitors are informing separating couples properly of this alternative.
When a Mediation fails to bring agreement on all facets of the divorce, instead of ending up in court – where the entire process can decipher and begin right back where you started, losing all the contracts already made – with a Divorce Arbitrator that single sticking point can be solved. And rapidly (compared with waiting months for a court date). We would recommend that you use a family solicitor in your area – solicitors in London as an example for the London area.
Regrettably (in my viewpoint) this is not currently possible in the UK if the Collaborative Law procedure gets stuck – it is only an alternative for mediation, which can continue on after the particular concern has been decided by the arbitrator.
Even if a financial organizer gives clear guidance on how a pension could be divided or the department of home possessions, it could be that the celebrations would like an adjudication from the Arbitrator who will write their honor and make a lawfully binding choice. The Arbitrator can also deal with discrete aspects of a case so if there is a mediation where there is one issue that needs to be dealt with, this can be described arbitration keeping the rest of the arrangement in tact.
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