Arbitration is a form of ADR (alternative dispute resolution). You cannot be forced into Arbitration. It is a voluntary process which resolves disputes identified by the parties and their attorneys. The decision on each issue is given by the arbitrator. You can choose to arbitrate all or a limited number of disputed issues in your family law case.
If you believe your case is close to settled but for one issue, the amount of alimony for example, you can choose to arbitrate this one limited issue. You can agree to limit the arbitrator’s decision to a maximum or minimum range – for example if you believe alimony should be $200 per week and the other side believes it should be $350 per week, you can limit the arbitrator’s decision to an amount in that range.
Arbitration permits the attorneys / parties to pick their arbitrator and set the rules for arbitration. After the arbitration process, which can be as formal or informal as the parties wish, there is a decision issued by the arbitrator.
Arbitration remains confidential, unlike court proceedings, except of the basic terms of the arbitrator’s decision which is confirmed by the court. The confidentiality of arbitration can be a benefit when there are allegations of unreported income or similar issues in a case.