Divorce is as costly as it is stressful, and as stressful as it is complicated. While there is not always a way to eliminate these hardships, there are voluntary procedures in place that may be able to help mitigate them. It all depends on your individual circumstances and preferences as a couple. In the specific case of divorce arbitration, which involves a mutually chosen third party to settle disputes, there are a few things to consider before deciding if this procedure is the best one for you.
How does divorce arbitration work?
A divorce arbitrator is a third-party you choose together to handle certain decisions outside of the court. This arbitrator makes binding rulings, much like a judge, based upon the evidence and testimony you provide to them. While this is not something that can be used for decisions such as granting a divorce or terminating parental rights, it can be used for most other issues within a divorce — such as alimony, child support and custody, and asset division.
It is important to note that an arbitrator is not a mediator. A mediator does not have the ability to make binding decisions; they are only able to make suggestions the way any counselor would.
Further, divorce arbitration is largely meant for those with a more amicable divorce in mind. If you and your spouse have a more volatile relationship, arbitration may be less effective.
The benefits of divorce arbitration
A benefit of divorce arbitration is that it can be as formal or informal as you would like. One of the reasons people choose this route is they can avoid the court with it. During pandemic times especially, your arbitration meeting may be entirely virtual. It is more commonly done in an office or conference room, but you can talk to your specific arbitrator about your preferences.
Arbitration also has the advantage of privacy. Because this takes place outside of the court, it is also outside of the public eye. Your evidence will not be filed as public record, so if you are a high net-worth couple or have a sensitive divorce, this can be a very attractive option to consider.
The other big advantages of divorce arbitration are its timeliness and relatively lower cost. It is less expensive than litigation, and since there is no need to wait for a docket, the meeting can happen on your time rather than the court’s. If both of you have inconsistent schedules and odd times of availability, an arbitrator might be best for you as they work on your time rather than their own. This can remove the stress of missing dockets and running late, which can affect any rulings made if only one party is present or timely.
Making your decision
At the end of the day, of course, the only people who can decide if you are a good candidate for divorce arbitration are you and your spouse. You may be a good candidate for divorce arbitration if you:
- Are on amicable terms with your spouse
- Wish to limit the costs of getting a divorce
- Need flexibility in when the meetings can take place
- Would prefer not to have the details of your divorce disclosed publicly
An experienced Charlotte divorce attorney can sit down with you and discuss your options in detail to help you decide.
Here at Epperson Law Group, PLLC, we not only have qualified divorce attorneys on hand at our Charlotte, Boone, Weddington, and Concord offices, but we are also certified mediators and arbitrators. We can walk with you every step of the way, from answering preliminary questions to the finalization of your divorce. If you are considering divorce arbitration as an option, call us today at 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form. Let’s make this easier together.
Epperson Law Group, PLLC, is guided by a commitment to helping clients achieve favorable results in an efficient manner. Our Charlotte divorce and family law attorneys work with clients every day who face a range of divorce, custody, and other family law issues. We are equipped to help you appropriately resolve some of the most important legal matters you will ever need to address. We invite you to learn more about our team.