Is divorce arbitration the right choice for you?

It takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to get through a divorce while dealing with an ex-spouse. Many divorcing spouses want to avoid going to trial because of how time-consuming and stressful it can be. Arbitration is one way a divorcing couple can settle their divorce privately without going to court.

How does divorce arbitration work?

Many people want their divorce agreements to be finalized as soon as possible so they can move on with their lives. Instead of going through the public and monthslong process of a trial, couples who choose arbitration over litigation can settle their divorce in private and far more quickly.

The divorcing parties, with the help of their respective attorneys, must appoint an arbitrator. The role of this neutral third party is to hear both sides and render a decision based on the evidence presented. An arbitrator in Pennsylvania must be an American Bar Association-qualified arbitrator and a family law attorney.

When deciding whether or not to go to arbitration, it is important to remember that it essentially means giving up control. Since the arbitrator will be the one to make the decision, arbitration is appropriate when two parties are unable to reach an agreement but also do not want to go to court.

Arbitration differs from mediation, where a neutral third party is called in to help a divorced couple in reaching an agreement rather than making a decision.

Being private is one of its biggest advantages, as only the arbitrator, the divorcing couple and their lawyers need to be present. Additionally, because there is no need to go to court, arbitration is less formal and helps drive down the cost of a divorce.

Although arbitration is not for everyone, its advantages are easy to see. Going through a divorce trial can put a person through so much financially and emotionally. Arbitration helps alleviate that burden because it is private, convenient and inexpensive in comparison.