Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution which becoming increasingly popular in respect of matrimonial property and finances on divorce, for which it has been available since 2012. Since 2016, private law issues in respect of children can also be decided via arbitration.Arbitration is a voluntary process of dispute resolution whereby the parties’ dispute is decided by an impartial and independent third party (an arbitrator) instead of a judge. The parties agree to cooperate with the process and may agree to obtain a Consent Order reflecting the arbitrator’s decision which can then be implemented. The arbitrator is chosen by or on behalf of the parties, perhaps for their expertise in a specific area, and their decision can be agreed to be binding. Arbitrators are supervised and trained by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators.
The success of arbitration depends on the willingness of everyone involved so may not be suitable in cases where a party, or any necessary witnesses or third parties, are obstructive or un-cooperative. Similarly, arbitration is unlikely to be appropriate in cases where there are issues with non-disclosure, or where any injunctions etc. may be necessary.
More information in respect of arbitration is available on the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators’ website at www.ifla.org.uk. Alternatively, please telephone our London or High Wycombe offices on 0203 440 3705 or 01494 451355 to make an appointment and we would be happy to discuss whether we think your case is suitable for arbitration.