We’ve just read an interesting article on the Huffington Post website which asks whether mediators should make more use of arbitration services when mediated divorce cases stick. Suzy Miller’s article looks at how family arbitration could become as a highly regarded as it now is in the United States and Canada as a way for couples to navigate through difficult divorce discussions.
Although family arbitration is a relatively new idea in England and Wales and according to Suzy Miller it has the potential to offer a number of benefits to couples going through divorce.
What is family arbitration and what can it be used for? Arbitration is simply a way for couples to deal with difficult areas that may crop up in their divorce mediation proceedings, areas which would otherwise mean that the case could end up going to court. Mediation is, according to the article, ideal for cases in which a general agreement has been reached over most areas but with just one or two sticking points.
There is a common misconception that arbitration is purely for wealthier couples, however this is not the case and with the current issues arising from the recent cuts to the Legal Aid system for family law cases, arbitration could prove incredibly useful as way for couples to resolve issues quickly and amicably. It’s worth noting though that arbitration cannot be used in divorce cases where there is a dispute over children.
In the US and Canada where arbitration is already widely in use, an arbitrator is brought in when the mediation process flounders and only if the couple agree to use arbitration. According to Suzy Miller this process could also work here, however not enough family lawyers are giving couples adequate information on arbitration.
To ready Suzy Miller’s article in full, please visit the Huffington Post website.