Some ex-couples, such as Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, do manage to come to a private agreement between themselves, without needing to involve the courts.
But what if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about how your financial settlement will look? There is another way than going through the public court system.
What is arbitration?
Just like you may decide to get private healthcare rather than going through the NHS, you can choose to have the financial side of your divorce heard in the private sector by an arbitrator, instead of going to a public court.
What does the arbitration process involve?
Arbitration is very similar to the public court system. Both you and your spouse will put evidence to an arbitrator and call witnesses to speak at the hearing. Just like a public court, all evidence and witnesses will be agreed beforehand.
What are the advantages of arbitration?
Courts are busy and there can be a significant waiting time to get your case heard in the public court system. You should be able to get an arbitration hearing much sooner, giving you the ability to finalise your divorce in a much shorter timeframe.
The public and the media can be completely excluded from the arbitration process, keeping the details of your settlement completely private.
You can choose where your hearing takes place (it doesn’t have to be in a court), what time you would prefer your hearing to be and can even choose your own arbitrator.
If you’ve already come to an agreement with your spouse about one or more parts of your finances, you can ask the arbitrator only to look at issues that you still can’t reach an agreement on. Also, if you and your spouse would prefer not to have a hearing, you can just ask the arbitrator to make a decision based on your written evidence.
Who are arbitrators?
Arbitrators act as the ‘judge’ in arbitration hearings and are usually retired judges.
How do I choose an arbitrator?
It’s important that you choose an arbitrator who has the necessary experience of your type of case. A solicitor who specialises in arbitration should be able to advise you on the best arbitrator for you.
Is arbitration enforceable?
An arbitration agreement is a legally binding document that can be enforced in more than 140 countries worldwide. The only reason a judge could overturn an arbitration agreement is if they considered it to be unreasonable or perverse.
Arbitration can be a good alternative to the public court system if you want to process the financial side of your divorce quickly and be safe in the knowledge that your financial settlement will be completely private.
Contact us to see how we can help you
For more information on your options call our team on 0845 862 5001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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