Divorce arbitration is being used much more frequently by divorcing persons in lieu of protracted and fragmented court proceedings. As a certified family law arbitrator, I can vouch for the advantages to those who decide to arbitrate instead of litigate their cases. Recently, I posted an article concerning the “nuts and bolts” of divorce arbitration.

This article is about one of the most interesting and effective means of resolving contested divorce cases without resorting to traditional litigation. Divorce arbitration occupies a unique position in the growing field of alternate dispute resolution. Let’s start by stating what it is not. It is not mediation where divorcing parties meet with a trained

Stark & Stark Shareholder, John S. Eory, Esq., Co-Chair of the firm’s Family Law Group, has been certified as a family law arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). “Arbitration is a great courtroom alternative for those litigants who are unable to resolve their cases in mediation” says Lynn P. Burleson,

Arbitration agreements seem to permeate our society, though they often go unnoticed. Traditionally located in what is colloquially referred to as the “fine print,” arbitration clauses in contracts, or in use agreement or terms and conditions, can have a tremendous impact on a party’s right to bring an action before a court of competent jurisdiction. Without understanding the fine print, a party may unknowingly waive its right to a trial by jury and may be left to litigate before an arbitrator, which can be an individual or a panel, in a closed proceeding with a very narrow and difficult right to appeal the decision.

A preference for arbitration will vary and will usually fall to a party’s relative interests. For some, an enforceable arbitration agreement may be helpful, as it presents and expedited process and a non-public forum for dispute resolution. For others, this language may be harmful, as the costs of arbitration can be extremely burdensome relative to traditional court costs. The important thing is to understand what is included in the agreement and whether the language is effective in accomplishing that understanding.

Continue Reading Read the Fine Print. Is My Arbitration Clause Enforceable?