What Is Arbitration In Family Law?

Legalby Sumona18 July 2022

It is unfortunate, but there are times when relationships break down and result in separation. While divorce rates are dropping, the fact remains that a large percentage of marriages will result in a visit to the divorce courts.

The divorce rate in the states stands at around 50%, with Maine being the highest, and California the lowest in the country. Of course, not everyone gets married, but this doesn’t mean that all unmarried couples stay together either.

When relationships break down there are often disputes and these need to be handled by someone qualified to do so. An experienced professional can be used to resolve certain legal issues, and the court can be avoided.

What Does Family Law Mean?

family law meaning

Family law refers to the rights that couples and their children have. It is the legal area surrounding divorce, families, the duties that parents have to their children, and all financial or economic matters within the family.

Family law firm GSRM.com explains that this area can also cover such issues as domestic abuse, prenuptial agreements, and post-divorce disputes.

Couples don’t need to be married to need a family law specialist. Couples in a relationship, or parents with no serious attachment to each other, may need help with family law due to custody issues or other parental duties.

What Does Arbitration Refer To In Family Law?

The definition of arbitration according to the Cambridge Dictionary is the process involved in helping two individuals with a dispute reach a solution.

Mediation and arbitration can be used to avoid going to court when serious family disputes occur. If ex-spouses have a dispute over custody or financial responsibilities to a child, then arbitration can be used.

Mediators will help the couple work towards a resolution to their dispute. But, arbitrators will examine evidence and listen to arguments from the parties concerned, before reaching a decision.

While arbitration takes place outside of a courtroom, the arbitrator’s decision is legally binding. The only way to overturn it is to go to court.

Why Use Arbitration In Family Law?

family law attribution

Arbitration has traditionally been used for commercial or financial disputes as a means to find a resolution without the need for litigation. For some time now, it has also been used within family law.

The main reason for using arbitration could be said to avoid having the dispute taken to the family courts, yet there are other advantages to using an arbitrator.

Arbitration is far more confidential and private than a court hearing. Divorce, family concerns, debts, and custody issues, are all sensitive topics, and many couples would prefer their disputes to be handled privately.

Mediation is ideal when couples can find their way to a resolution with some outside help. But, when this cannot happen, an arbitrator can make a decision. Another benefit of using arbitration is that this decision can come much quicker than it could through litigation.

Due to arbitration often being quicker than going to court, it can also be less expensive. Lawyers can cost thousands of dollars and put more strain on the process. There are many tips for a happy marriage, perhaps using an arbitrator is a tip for a happier divorce process where both parties are financially better off.

Arbitration is also more relaxed than court proceedings, and a lot more flexible. Venues can be chosen, as can the arbitrator. This is unlike litigation judges are allocated without any input from the parties involved.

How Could Arbitration Affect You?

If you were in a situation where issues such as child custody or visitation rights can’t be resolved, then you might want to consider arbitration as an option. It can also be used for financial matters such as debt or child maintenance.

If you have ever wondered how debt and property is divided after divorce then you are not alone. Often the family law courts will decide on this issue, but arbitration can also be used.

Mediation and arbitration can also help solve disputes in relationships where there has been a history of domestic abuse or violence. The arbitration process lends itself to a less intense atmosphere than in court where both parties can feel under more scrutiny and pressure.

How Do You Choose An Arbitrator?


If you head to the Family Law Court, a judge will have been allocated to your hearing. However, if you choose arbitration then you will have the ability to choose your arbitrator.

Both parties involved can confer with their legal representatives, and together decide on who to select as an arbitrator. This will normally be someone practicing family law or perhaps a retired judge with experience in the same field.


Arbitration for many is much more desirable than spending time in the Family Law Court. It can be time-saving, more dignified in some aspects, and less expensive.

The confidentiality that arbitration gives is desirable to many spouses or ex-spouses who prefer their dispute to be handled in private. As long as both parties are committed to the arbitration process, then disputes concerning family issues can be handled effectively this way.



Sumona is a persona, having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of her professional commitments, she carries out sharing sentient blogs by maintaining top-to-toe SEO aspects. Follow more of her contributions in EmblemWealth

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