As previously discussed, mediation is an alternative to regular divorce proceedings that provides divorcing couples a number of important benefits, such as allowing a couple greater control in resolving their disputes. Still, mediation is not always the best option, but that does not mean there are not other alternatives to going to court. Instead of mediation, some New Jersey couples choose to take their divorce into arbitration.
FindLaw describes a key difference between mediation and arbitration. In mediation, there is no judge or official to render a decision and impose it on the couple. Arbitration, on the other hand, does involve a third party, known as an arbitrator, who hands down a solution. Like judges, arbitrators hear arguments and evidence from the couples before coming to a final decision.
The purpose of arbitration is to provide a structure for divorcing couples who want to avoid a courtroom but admit that they cannot mutually reach solutions and need a third party to solve their disagreements. Like mediation, arbitration is cheaper than going to court and can save couples a lot of money, enabling spouses to end a divorce with more money in their bank accounts than if they went to court.
Additionally, arbitration provides a degree of privacy that courtroom proceedings do not. Money Crashers explains that your personal information, presented in arbitration, does not become part of the public record. This not only guards the privacy of spouses, but children as well if any are involved. And arbitration can also be completed in less time than a divorce trial, which helps resolve the ordeal of divorce in a quicker fashion.
The decision of an arbitrator is sometimes not final. Many arbitration decisions still need to be approved in court to be finalized. Some couples also prefer to put off some issues for a court to resolve and leave others for arbitration. This allows a couple to blend methods of resolution to suit their situation. Since the needs of divorcing couples will vary, professional legal consultation may be needed to find the right way to resolve divorce issues.