When serious conflicts arise over such family law matters as property division, child or spousal support, or child custody, it is not always necessary to go to court. Two alternative dispute resolution methods open to families are mediation and arbitration. Both share many similar advantages, but each method is very different in how it generates a resolution.
Common Benefits Of Mediation And Arbitration
Each party is typically represented by its own lawyer, but both arbitration and mediation take place out of court in a less formal setting. The result is usually a less adversarial atmosphere that is often advantageous in resolving disputes.
Scheduling is more flexible and takes place at the convenience of both parties rather than according to court schedules. Either option typically allows families to settle matters more quickly and with less expense than going to court.
The Key Difference BetweenMediation And Arbitration
One of the most significant differences between the two methods is in the role of the mediator and arbitrator.
A mediator acts as a neutral facilitator, helping and guiding the disputing parties to explore the issues and come up with their own solutions. Although the resulting agreement is not binding, it often results in a workable plan that the parties are more likely to implement.
An arbitrator’s role is very different and is similar to that of a judge. After listening to both sides of the dispute, the arbitrator makes a decision. The decision becomes legally binding and is enforceable by the court.
The lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott are ready to use their experience to help clients pursue successful resolutions to family law matters through either mediation or arbitration.