First, you and your partner meet with a neutral mediator, who is trained to help you agree on your issues without taking sides. Then, if you haven't been able to reach an agreement with the mediator's help, a neutral arbitrator decides what should happen. An arbitrator's decision is called a family arbitration award.
You and your partner can decide if you want the same person to act as mediator and then, if necessary, as an arbitrator. Or, if you want different people to be the mediator and arbitrator.