Chestnut Hill family lawyer explains the advantages of divorce arbitration

The Advantages of Divorce Arbitration

One of the many unfortunate side-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the backlog in the court system caused by court closures, the inability to hold in-person hearings, and court staff working remotely. This backlog persists in many counties, despite the fact that many courts are now starting to open up for business again.

In the best of times, it could take months or years for a divorce to work its way through the court system. With the backlog caused by the pandemic, divorcing couples are experiencing more delays, which can add to uncertainty and anxiety in an already uncertain and anxious time.

Divorce arbitration is a way to fast-track a divorce so that a couple does not need to wait months or years for their divorce to wind its way through the court system. In divorce arbitration, a couple agrees to select a neutral, third-party arbitrator to make decisions regarding their case. These decisions can range from divorce-related issues like the sale of a house or the division of personal property, to resolving the entire divorce, including support, alimony and the distribution of all marital property and debts. In certain circumstances, parties can also agree to arbitrate issues related to child support and child custody.

The arbitrator is a highly experienced family law attorney who is familiar with the financial and emotional issues a divorcing couple faces. In addition to “fast-tracking” the divorce process, arbitration allows the parties to have much more control over their case than if they were just going before a judge. Parties can decide on how formal or informal they want the process to be and how quickly the process will take. Attorneys often recommend arbitration for sensitive situations such as when a divorcing couple doesn’t want certain information aired in open court or as part of an official court record.

If you are considering choosing arbitration, you should consult with an attorney before you go any further. There are some downsides to divorce arbitration. In most cases, an arbitration award cannot be appealed. And, like mediation, arbitration is only effective if the other side is a willing and engaged participant. If you are ready to move forward with your family law matter, contact Chestnut Hill family lawyer Lydia Terrill today to schedule an initial consultation.

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