- Family Law
- Dispute Resolution
The majority of individuals want to avoid trial if at all possible, and this is particularly true in divorce and other family law matters. Concerns for privacy and for protection of children’s interests can make the courtroom an unsuitable forum. Yet cooperative processes like mediation may not be effective where parties are far apart on important issues and unable to come to an agreement on all the issues. If your case requires a definitive, binding decision, arbitration may be your best option. At Needle | Cuda, our family law attorneys are experienced in using this method. We know how to present evidence and arguments designed to achieve positive outcomes with a minimum of conflict. Our family law attorneys work closely with you throughout the arbitration process, providing steady counsel that affords you confidence and peace of mind.
Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution used in a variety of civil law disputes. Unlike mediation, where a neutral third party helps parties reach compromises, arbitration resembles a private trial. Parties and their attorneys submit evidence and make arguments to an arbitrator, who acts as judge. Arbitrators are often judges who have retired from the bench, or may be other experienced lawyers. Choosing the right arbitrator can be very important to the process. Arbitration can occur only if both parties agree to the process; it cannot otherwise be required by the court. The process takes place at an agreed-upon location, generally a conference room. At the close of the proceedings, the arbitrator rules on each issue presented for resolution. One of the benefits of arbitration is that it is usually more final than a decision in court, as there are greater limits on the ability to appeal an arbitrator’s decision. It is also a way to have a more confidential trial, without the issues playing out in open court.
Parties to divorce can use arbitration to decide a number of contentious issues, such as:
As the law now stands, child custody and child support cannot be arbitrated. However, it may be possible to arbitrate cases involving those issues, if they are separately agreed or carved out in the right way.
Since most arbitration issues are financial, the parties must pledge full transparency. There should be an appropriate discovery process leading up to the arbitration. Each party should present their financial records, including tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, loan records, deeds and other documentation as evidence. Parties are also allowed to call witnesses, including expert witnesses on asset valuation and other economic measures.
If you are interested in seeking arbitration of a family law dispute in Fairfield County, Needle | Cuda is ready to help. We provide arbitration representation focused on delivering positive results. To reserve a consultation, call us today at 203-429-4151 or contact our Westport office online.