People who have been involved with family law are likely to have encountered mediation, especially in child-related issues. But what about arbitration?
The Uniform Law Commission is in the midst of drafting a Family Law Arbitration Act designed to provide a structure for arbitration of family law matters. The draft act provides many of the typical characteristics of arbitration that distinguish it from litigation. For example, parties will enter arbitration through an agreement to arbitrate; parties select and hire their arbitrator; arbitration proceedings and awards can be confidential; and arbitration awards are final, with very limited causes for appeal to a court. Family law arbitration differs from commercial arbitration in some key respects, such as greater opportunities for judicial review of awards determining child custody and support.
Family arbitration is quite dissimilar from family mediation. Most importantly, the arbitrator makes a decision that (more…)