Say YES! To Arbitration
Posted by: vstanistreet Jul 19
Family arbitration was launched in February 2012 for financial matters only and unfortunately uptake was lower than expected. There were too many unknowns in terms of costs and decisions as well as few known local Arbitrators in the area for solicitors to be able to “sell” the idea of arbitration to clients.
Now times are changing and Arbitration is growing in terms of uptake. As a consequence from July 2016 arbitration will also be an option for private children disputes for the first time.
So what are the advantages?
- Arbitration boasts a quicker process, typically matters are dealt with within 1-6 months depending on the complexity.
- The process is totally private and confidential.
- Clients can choose the most appropriate Arbitrator for the case based on their experience, rather than be allocated a Judge who might not be a family law specialist.
- There is greater flexibility as clients can choose the location and dates the arbitration meetings take place.
- It offers a more informal and bespoke service to help put clients at ease.
- Arbitration can often be cheaper than the Court process especially when the delay is offset.
- Arbitration can be used to deal with specific issues.
How qualified are arbitrators?
Arbitrators must have at least 10 years post qualification experience and declare that they have spent over 600 hours per year in family law and over 400 hours in the area they wish to qualify.
We are pleased to announce that Catherine Sousa is now qualified as an Arbitrator in children matters.
With Child Arrangement Orders sometimes leaving gaps, or family disputes arising where the parents do not wish to go to court, arbitration could be a perfect solution, for example: –
- A Child Arrangement Order may be silent on defining when the weekend starts;
- It may be unclear as to whether contact continues throughout the school holidays;
- Arrangements for holidays abroad or for Christmas contact may need to be determined;
- A decision may need to be made regarding what school a child should attend;
- Arrangements for how often a child spends with each parent.
If you are interested in arbitration either personally or for your clients, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Sousa on 02380 713060 to discuss matters further.
Elizabeth Hughes – Assistant Solicitor