Divorce is a difficult and emotionally charged time, made even more complicated and stressful when the couple going through the divorce has a high net worth. With financial futures at stake, decisions made during the divorce process are absolutely critical.
When a couple is unable to find common ground and proceeds to a contentious, drawn-out court battle, the expense and anguish can become practically unbearable. However, if a couple is willing to look at alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration, it may help reduce much of the high costs and heartache.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is similar to mediation in that it is an alternative way to proceed through divorce that allows the couple to avoid litigation. A neutral third party oversees the arbitration process, the rules of which may vary depending on the wishes of each of the parties. The contract between them outlines the specifics for their arbitration. For example, the terms may require a single arbitrator or a panel. This person or panel functions much as a judge would, reviewing evidence and hearing each party’s case before coming to a decision.
Where to start with an arbitrated divorce?
The first thing a couple should do if they are facing divorce and considering arbitration is to determine whether their situation is amenable to arbitration. Both parties must agree to the arbitration process by signing a document indicating their wish to handle matters through arbitration. If they are unable to agree to adhere to the terms of the contract, arbitration may not be an option for them. In addition, child custody and child support matters cannot be handled in arbitration in Connecticut. Arbitration agreements are binding on both parties.
Someone who thinks his or her divorce may benefit from arbitration should contact a family law attorney who works with these cases. An attorney can provide advice about the options and provide guidance on the most suitable route for the particular situation.