There are many people who, for different reasons, would prefer to use arbitration and avoid taking a family matter to court. OGR Stock Denton has produced this helpful summary of some of the main advantages to the process.
Subject to the arbitrator’s views, the timetable is up to the parties to agree. When appointing an arbitrator, the parties can consider the individual’s availability to see if this fits in with their own schedule. The parties avoid the risk of proceedings being adjourned due to a Judge not being available or the courts juggling other cases.
Arbitration is also likely to take significantly less time from the start point to final award than the court process. Where, for example, the parties have been in discussion for some time and full disclosure has already taken place in relation to their finances, it may be possible for the process to be completed in under two months.
The parties pay the arbitrator’s fees which at OGR Stock Denton includes the cost of the venue. With many arbitrators it is also necessary to pay the cost of any venue which is hired. The cost of a transcription service (if required) is an addition. Ordinarily these will be shared equally, although parties may choose to come to an arrangement which suits them. They will also, of course, have to pay their own lawyers.
The ability to limit disclosure and to refine the issues at initial meetings will in many cases mean a net reduction in costs. The speed of the process also tends to save money in comparison with other forms of dispute resolution.
There is considerable flexibility in the way arbitration is carried out. At a preliminary meeting the parties will normally define the scope of their arbitration and the procedure to be adopted. It may be a formal court-style procedure, or a more informal process.
The arbitration can also be limited to specific issues, thus leaving room for further negotiation or indeed an application to the court. It is even an option for the arbitration to be a purely paper process if the parties agree or the arbitrator directs.
There is also complete flexibility as to the time and place of hearings. After a first meeting, many sessions will be held over the telephone or via a Skype conference.
Choice of Arbitrators
It is pot luck as to which Judge is appointed in a court hearing. With arbitration, however, the parties have the right to choose their arbitrator. Knowing that a dispute will be resolved by a selected specialist with appropriate experience in the type of case concerned is understandably very attractive to many people. Once appointed, the arbitrator deals with all stages of the process, from start to finish, thus providing valuable continuity.
The entire process is governed by strict rules of confidentiality. This will be important to a good many people who value their privacy, not just celebrities or public figures.