What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is another dispute resolution pathway in the family law world. Arbitration can be a good option for you to consider if you and your former partner have been unable to reach a decision through other pathways such as mediation or negotiation. Matters which can be heard by an Arbitrator include property and financial matters, parenting matters cannot be dealt with by arbitrators.

The Family Law Act defines arbitration as ‘a process (other than the judicial process) in which parties to a dispute present arguments and evidence to an arbitrator, who makes a determination to resolve the dispute.’

While waiting for a court hearing can be a timely and costly process, a decision through arbitration can be quick, efficient and cheaper than litigation.

There are many other positive aspects of arbitration including that the parties have a choice of arbitrator, that there is control over the level of formality, there is less delay than in the court system, Arbitration is cost effective and arbitration is subject to confidentiality.

Similar to the court process both parties will present evidence to the arbitrator and then the arbitrator will make a decision based on that evidence. An arbitration can be about one or more issues within the dispute and therefore does not have to cover all aspects of the dispute between yourself and your former partner. A decision made by an arbitrator has as much legal authority as a court order.

An arbitrator is a legal practitioner who specialises in Family law and has been trained and accredited as an arbitrator.