Is it better to arbitrate than litigate?

Arbitration can be used to resolve financial disputes and disputes concerning children and offers an alternative route to Court proceedings which are often lengthy and expensive. The process is usually faster and offers greater flexibility and privacy.

The Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood and his estranged wife turned to arbitration to settle their financial battle out of Court following their divorce.

What is arbitration?

Family arbitration is a form of private dispute resolution.  The parties jointly appoint an arbitrator who is usually a trained family solicitor or barrister or retired Judge.  Like a Judge, the arbitrator listens to the arguments and then makes a legally binding decision.

What are the positives?

1.      Overall it is usually more cost effective because the decision is quicker in contrast to Court proceedings which can continue for months, or even years.

2.      The process is confidential, informal and flexible.  It can be scheduled to fit the parties timetable, unlike a Court hearing which has to fit into an overcrowded Court calendar.

3.      The arbitrator remains the same throughout the process, unlike Court proceedings where a different Judge may hear each stage of the proceedings. This provides continuity and assurance that the arbitrator has a good grasp and understanding of all the facts.

4.      The parties choose whether they want to discuss the matter in writing only or meet face to face thereby avoiding hostility.  They also have a say on the venue where the proceedings will be heard.

5.      Arbitration hearings are completely private.

At Pictons we help navigate clients through the distress and acceptance of divorce and encourage clients to think about arbitration as an alternative to Court proceedings.  We can assist with helping you find the right arbitrator and will offer advice and support throughout the process.

For an initial consultation to discuss the options following relationship breakdown please call Pictons’ family team on 01582 870880 or 01442 229641.

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