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The Benefits Of Mediation & Arbitration In Divorce

February 13, 2019 Family Law

Family Law

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Potential court hearings proceedings

The prospect of divorce proceedings looming over estranged couple’s heads can often be a daunting notion for all involved.

Through the traditional court proceedings and court trial, the pursuit of an end-agreement can see long periods of time consumed and high levels of legal fees incurred.

Additionally, the adversarial nature of this procedure regularly results in parties’ relationships suffering further aggravation thus contributing to increased levels of animosity.

However, the resultant effects of this are most likely suffered by children and relatives rather than the parties themselves.

Coupled with dealing with these added stresses, parties often find themselves having to negotiate the hurdles the inherent in the bureaucratic judicial system.

Couples wishing to avoid this tiresome divorce settlement process can attempt to settle their grievances privately, absent of legal advice.

This can, however, be hostile and often leads to efforts ending in stalemate with neither party willing to reach an agreement.

That then creates a problematic position, on one side is the daunting and lengthy court trial process, while on the other is the implausibility of an agreement being reached otherwise. Our team of experts can advise you on the best legal route for your specific circumstances.

However, contrary to the popular image that divorce proceedings are only solvable by going down either of these two routes, there are others offering separating couples a glimmer of hope.

Divorces are rightfully a sensitive issue and so clearly then deserve a more delicate process focusing on parties’ specific needs and interests while thwarting the chance of relations deteriorating further.

This need has indeed been recognised of late and has since led to a rise in divorcing couples opting to conclude their parting agreement via relatively unorthodox means.

The most prominent of these are the processes of arbitration and mediation.

Both divorce arbitration and divorce mediation are processes conducted in private and are built around the divorcing parties’ mutual convenience.

This, unlike a publicly accessible court room, allows individuals to communicate their contentions in an environment free from the scrutiny of their peers and onlookers.

Consequently, negotiations then allow for the possibility that personally sensitive issues can be raised with the confidence they will remain private.

In addition, the time and place in which these processes can take place is dictated by the parties themselves.

This prevents the chance of further disruption to the couple’s working lives and reduces the likelihood of it becoming an additional source of stress.

Our experienced family solicitors can advise you the best legal route for your specific circumstances.

Divorce arbitration

Divorce arbitration and mediation offer a unique approach beyond practical benefits, aiding divorcing couples in reaching tailored agreements that may otherwise be unattainable.

The process of divorce arbitration in relation to divorce begins with the appointment of an impartial third-party.
The arbiter will consider each party’s issues before delivering a binding judgment on how the divorce will be resolved, agreed upon by both parties in advance.

While the arbiter holds ultimate decision-making power, the divorcing couple retains significant control. They can choose the time, place, and arbiter based on the specific issues causing disagreement.

This is due to the fact that many arbiters offering their services have specialised expertise in commonly contentious areas such as child maintenance or the distribution of property.

While it offers efficiency and cost savings, this process may not require equal cooperation from both parties, potentially leading to one side feeling aggrieved and straining post-divorce relations.

Divorce Mediation

Mediation, on the other hand, is a process underpinned by the principle of respectful communication. It begins with an impartial mediator listening to each parties’ concerns before attempting to find common ground on which they can agree on.

This allows for relations between the couple to be protected from the high chance of deterioration seen so often.

Giving both members concerned an equal voice can result in concessions being made in good faith which end in beneficial compromises.

This approach prioritises children’s interests by fostering respectful communication through the mediator’s guidance, ensuring their needs are addressed foremost.

Also, unlike an arbiter, the final decision comes not from the mediator but from the parties themselves following the compromises they have made. Evidently, an agreement the product of the couple’s own communication will be one more likely to be respected and upheld in the long run, keeping animosity to a minimum.

However, due to this major reliance on a mutual cooperation between each party, if one side refuses to be involved then mediation can often see minimal progress and stay in deadlock.

While both alternative divorce methods provide couples with an opportunity to circumvent the issues of traditional courtroom proceedings, the ultimate responsibility lies with the parties’ willingness to resolve disputes through these means

That being said, the opportunity both options afford to end proceedings quickly and effectively offers a markedly more efficient process than the traditional way.

These many benefits alone should be reason enough for parties to at least consider this growing alternative.


Mediation and arbitration offer divorcing couples many benefits over traditional court proceedings. In divorce mediation, a neutral third party, the mediator, guides the couple to reach an agreement outside of court, saving time and reducing legal fees. Similarly, in divorce arbitration, the arbitrator makes a final decision on disputed issues after an arbitration hearing, providing a more structured process compared to a divorce trial. Unlike court hearings, mediation and arbitration are private processes, keeping family matters out of the public record and allowing for open communication between the parties. Ultimately, mediation and arbitration offer divorcing spouses the opportunity to resolve disputes in a more cost-effective and efficient manner, considering important considerations such as child custody and financial matters.

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