THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DIVORCE ARBITRATION

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Advantages of divorce law arbitration include:
Ability of participants to decide who will be their judge. Parties can select an arbitrator with particular expertise, such as business valuation, retirement plans, tax, nonmarital tracing issues, mental health, etc.
More privacy.
Quicker trial dates and pre-arbitration conferences, which also may result in less expense and tension.
Swiftness of decision making.
Less formal.
The arbitrator has all the time you need to put on your case.
Disadvantages voiced by some include:
Perception that there cannot be binding child custody decision. (Maybe but not necessarily true; usually are subject to trial de novo if the court concludes the award is contrary to a child’s best interest.)
Beliefs that parties are not protected by rules permitting discovery and required financial disclosure. Under the Uniform Arbitration Act mechanisms for disclosure are provided and in the arbitration agreements parties may have the arbitrator supervise the discovery, or the parties may complete discovery and then arbitrate.
Fears that the arbitrator will be able to ignore the law. While an arbitrator’s mistake of law does not generally provide a basis for refusing to confirm an award, the parties can agree that the arbitrator will be bound by the substantive law of the state.
Inability of the arbitrator to enforce an award. Awards are tendered to the court and after confirming the award, all remedies for enforcement are available in court as with any other judgment.
The parties must pay for the arbitrator’s time.

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