Alternative Dispute Resolution and Divorce Settlements

By February 24, 2017divorce

There are many methods a couple can use to settle their divorce without breaking the bank in the process. While some divorce settlements can be lengthy and complicated, hinging on small matters, utilizing alternative dispute resolution can help save the couple money when it comes to the attorney’s fees and the various costs associated with retaining a lawyer. Family law courts are frequently overbooked, and thus, obtaining a divorce decree can actually take much longer than needed when going through the traditional legal process.


Arbitration is a method of alternative dispute resolution in which a third party neutral decision maker is employed by the couple to make a legally binding decision. The third party neutral decision maker, referred to as an arbitrator, can either be elected by the spouses or if they cannot come to an understanding, it can be chosen for them. Many couples seek out arbitrators with experience in arbitrating divorces similar to theirs, focusing on certain issues that are in contest. The arbitrator hears both sides of the case, much like that presented in a traditional divorce proceeding, and makes a final, legally binding decision.

What is different about arbitration from traditional litigation is that it is private. All documents relating to the case are sealed, unlike documents submitted to a court during a proceeding. Additionally, arbitrations take place in a location of the couple’s choice, which can be beneficial for those spouses who are living separately, but either have a mutual location they both visit, such as offices, or for spouses who are separated and living in different states. Spouses also elect when the arbitration will occur, which is generally much quicker than a traditional proceeding and then also cuts down attorney’s fees.

The Federal Rules of Evidence are to be followed in all cases heard before a judge. With an arbitrator, the attorneys and arbitrator can discuss what they will submit for discovery and what procedures need to be followed, eliminating the strict rules. One downfall seen by some couples is that when the arbitrator makes a decision, it will be entered into court, and non-appealable, thus becoming legally binding. There are few exceptions for those cases in which the arbitrator clearly violated and abused their role by a showing of fraud, corruption or serious misconduct by the arbitrator.

Want to Finalize Your Divorce?

Coming to terms with your former spouse about how your marriage will dissolve does not have to be a painful process for either party. If you or someone you know is seeking to finalize the terms of their divorce we can help. Do not hesitate to call the legal team at Lawrence Law Office today at (614) 228 – 3664 for a consultation or email us using our website or [email protected]. We will help you get the results you deserve.

Linda Lawrence

About Linda Lawrence