Family Arbitration can rescue a mediated divorce from falling apart into a nasty pricey court fight, so should more mediators be taking note of it as a resource for their clients?
In the first of a brief series of posts, I discover how family arbitration might end up being a powerful new device in the mediator’s tool kit, as it has done over the pond in the United States and Canada. In part two I take a look at whether it saves the client money and whether the arbitrator’s decision is constantly enforceable by law, and in part three I will discuss the likelihood of family arbitration growing strongly in the UK, or will it go the method of collaborative law, which (so far) is still mainly unknown by the general public as an option for browsing divorce?
Family Arbitration is the new kid on the block in the family law neighborhood in England and Wales, and the possible advantages to separating clients are tremendous. My interest in discovering more about family arbitration was originally triggered by a discussion with New York Mediator Ken Neumann, who described how beneficial arbitrators could be in un-sticking a mediation procedure. “Sometimes,” he discussed to me, “the couple cannot agree on one problem, and they simply desire another person to decide for them.”.
An outstanding talk given by UK Arbitrator Mena Ruparel convinced me that the rise of family arbitration in the UK was a cause worth supporting. I made contact with several Arbitrators via e-mail on a Friday evening, and to my surprise, got a cascade of feedbacks by the Monday morning! I was struck by the evident interest and interest for arbitration amongst a large range of family law professionals who have certified as family arbitrators, varying from barristers, mediators and collaborative legal representatives. I include their contributions in the following short articles, with thanks.
In other parts of the world, consisting of the United States and Canada, when a mediation process creators, an arbitrator is generated if the couple desire it, to fix the dispute for them. This is also how it can work right here – but currently inadequate solicitors are informing divorcing couples appropriately of this choice.
When a Mediation fails to bring agreement on all elements of the divorce, instead of winding up in court – where the whole process can unwind and begin right back where you began, losing all the arrangements currently made – with a Divorce Arbitrator that single sticking point can be resolved. And swiftly (compared with waiting months for a court date).
Unfortunately (in my viewpoint) this is not presently possible in the UK if the Collaborative Law process gets stuck – it is only an alternative for mediation, which can advance after the particular problem has been decided by the arbitrator. Arbitrators have a potentially significant part to play but we would recommend solicitors in London for those in the London area to ensure that your best interests are served.
Even if a financial organizer provides clear suggestions on how a pension could be divided or the department of home assets, it could be that the parties would such as an adjudication from the Arbitrator who will write their award and make a legally binding decision. The Arbitrator can also deal with discrete elements of a case so if there is a mediation where there is one problem that needs to be fixed, this can be described arbitration keeping the remainder of the contract in tact.