Family Law arbitration was launched in 2012 by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators to enable family financial disputes to be dealt with by arbitration.
Arbitration is a process to which both parties must agree. Both parties sign an agreement confirming that they agree that the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding. Arbitration can only be discontinued if both parties agree this. The arbitrator can be replaced only by agreement of both parties or order of the court, and the grounds for securing such an order are limited.
The identity of the arbitrator is agreed by both parties and once the arbitrator is appointed they will have a wide discretion and significant powers to manage the case. The arbitrator can therefore decide procedural matters such as what evidence is provided, the appointment of any experts and the questions to be put to the experts and the arbitrator can also make interim awards such as interim maintenance.
When determining the issue of financial provision it will be with reference to the laws of England and Wales as it is in the courts.
Arbitration is an option for those separating couples who cannot reach an agreement and know that a third party decision is required, but they want to avoid the delay of court proceedings.