Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution.

Both parties enter into an agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person (an “arbitrator”) to “judge” a dispute and make an award (” judgement”) which is usually binding.

What are the benefits of family arbitration?


The principal benefits of arbitration are:

  • Speed:  Subject to the arbitrator’s availability, the timetable is up to the both of you to agree. You can avoid the risk of your case being adjourned or not finished because of pressure on court time or a judge becoming unavailable. Arbitration is also likely to take significantly less time than court proceedings.


  • Confidentiality:  The entire process is protected by strict confidentiality.


  • Costs:  You do have to pay the arbitrator’s fees, the cost of any venue which is hired, and the cost of a transcription service, if required. Usually, however, the ability to limit disclosure and the scope of the dispute, if properly utilised should in many cases lead to a cost saving.  Because you are involved in the decision making it is easier to concentrate on the essential points to be decided.


  • Flexibility: You can have all issues arbitrated or the arbitration may be limited to agreed issues, leaving room for further negotiation or application to the court.  It is possible for the arbitration to be completed on paper, if you agree or the arbitrator decides this is the best approach, further reducing costs.  You have complete flexibility as to the time and place of hearings.


  • Choice of arbitrator:  Ordinarily parties to a dispute do not have the right to choose their judge, but they do have the right under to choose their arbitrator. Knowing that a dispute will be resolved by a selected specialist with appropriate experience will be very attractive to many parties and their advisers. Once appointed, the arbitrator deals with all stages of the case from start to finish.


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© Mary Raymont