Arbitration involves hiring a qualified family law arbitrator to resolve disputes without going to court.
The benefits of arbitration include:
- The process is confidential. The privacy of financial information and family issues is protected;
- The parties jointly choose the arbitrator, and can be certain to have someone who is a specialist in family law decide their dispute;
- While there are often many delays in getting a hearing date in court, the parties can choose an arbitrator who is available within their time frame;
- The parties can choose where the arbitration is to take place;
- The parties jointly determine the process, and can decide to approach the proceeding in a manner which takes into account the complexity, importance and value of the issues in dispute;
- An arbitration is somewhat less formal than a court proceeding and may be more cost-effective;
- A decision of an arbitrator must be provided within 30 days, where a judge can take many months.
In an arbitration each party is represented by their own lawyer. Once the issues in dispute are identified, evidence is provided in the form of documents, affidavits and oral testimony. Each party has an opportunity to have their lawyer cross-examine the other party, and each to have their lawyer argue their case.
Arbitrators must ensure that the process is fair to both parties and must explain the reasons for their decision. A decision of an arbitrator is binding on the parties and enforceable by a court.
As experienced litigation counsel with expertise in complex family law matters, Megan Ellis QC can assist the parties to bring their dispute to a conclusion in an efficient and timely manner.