What is mediation-arbitration?
Question & AnswerWhat is mediation-arbitration?
1. Decide if you should mediate-arbitrate
There are many reasons why people choose . And there are also reasons why they don’t. Think about these reasons and then decide if you want to try mediation–arbitration with your partner.
Reasons to use mediation-arbitration
Some of the reasons to use mediation–arbitration are:
- It is usually private or confidential. This is different from a court case. Once you start a court case, your file is usually open to anyone. In mediation–arbitration, the process is private but can become open to anyone in a few situations. For example, if one partner wants to the arbitrator’s decision, then a court file is opened and anyone can look at your file.
- The process can be faster than going to court once you have agreed on all of the process details and signed your mediation–arbitration agreement.
- It can be cheaper than going to court.
Mediation–arbitration also gives you a lot of control over the process. You can decide things like:
- who to hire as your mediator and your arbitrator. You can pick someone with the experience that you need. For example, a social worker with experience making a .
- when mediation or arbitration meetings take place
- what documents you have to share, how you share them, and when
- whether your lawyers go to mediation or arbitration with you
- if you want to apply the family court rules to arbitration, or a simplified version of these rules
Some people like mediation–arbitration more than mediation because the arbitrator makes a decision if they cannot agree. So they don’t have to start the process all over either in court or arbitration if mediation doesn’t work.
Reasons not to use mediation–arbitration
Some of the reasons not to use mediation–arbitration are:
- Although it can be cheaper than going to court, you still have to pay the mediator and the arbitrator. Most partners share this cost.
- You and your partner must get (ILA) before starting the process. This means you both have to hire your own lawyer, which means the process may be more expensive. In other kinds of ADR like and , it is a good idea to have your own lawyer but it is not required.
- Although it can be faster than going to court once you have signed your mediation–arbitration agreement, you have to agree with your partner on all the details before you can do this.
- It isn’t suitable when you have an emergency and need a . For example, if there is a risk that your partner is going to leave the country with your child.
- You feel that you won’t be able to negotiate fairly or safely with your partner even with family law professionals and lawyers involved. For example, if there is a history of partner abuse and your partner makes threats or hides information from you. Mediators and arbitrators usually check for partner abuse first. They may be able to plan the process in a way that makes it fair and safe.