Why refer family law issues to arbitration?

Why would you refer a matter to arbitration?

When a relationship breaks down people need to find a way to untangle their lives, or at least manage their on-going, separated relationship. Whether it’s a husband and wife separating; a divorced couple no longer being able to agree on the financial arrangements for support for their children; cohabiting couples who don’t want to live together, but both want to stay in the house they own; parents not being able to agree where their child should live or grand-parents who want to have contact with their grandchildren, finding a resolution can be hard. Sometimes individuals can find a resolution themselves; sometimes they need the assistance of a third party like a mediator to help them. Sometimes, however, the individuals simply cannot agree matters between them and they need to hand the decision making process over to a third party. Conventionally that involved the individuals litigating matters before the court. It is well recognised that the court process can be highly traumatic for individuals. It is expensive, time-consuming, public and inflexible. FLAGS arbitration offers an alternative to court.

Arbitration delivers an adjudication. Other DR (dispute resolution) methods like mediation and collaborative family law are consensual and rely on the parties finding agreement between them. Arbitration, however, involves a resolution being imposed, as would happen with the court and this is sometimes required if the parties cannot agree matters themselves. The process is binding on the parties. Arbitration is not a replacement for the court process and there will still be situations where court proceedings are the best way to resolve matters. In many cases, however, when parties need an adjudication they would benefit from using the FLAGS model which delivers flexibility, privacy, a cost effective remedy and allows parties to select themselves who they want to be the decision maker in their circumstances.

You can find out about our arbitrators on the ‘Search for an Arbitrator’ page.

  • Karen Gailey
  • Alastair Milne
  • Cath Karlin
  • Scott McAlpine
  • Caroline Flanagan
  • Martin F Monaghan
  • Alasdair Loudon
  • Siobhán Kelly
  • John Macpherson
  • Frank Burr
  • Scott Cochrane
  • Kirsty Malcolm
  • Graham Harding
  • Shona Smith
  • Lynda Brabender QC