Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. Half of all marriages in the United States end in a divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. Divorce proceedings can take both an emotional and a financial toll on the entire family. Navigating the divorce process is important in keeping family as emotionally stable as possible.
When you file for divorce, you have the right and option of using the California family law court system. However, you also have alternative options that can provide more control and also are significantly less expensive. One of these options that can meet both criteria is arbitration. Arbitration can be a good option if you want to avoid costly legal battle in court and keep the details of your divorce private.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. It is a private, judicial determination of a dispute by an independent third party. Instead of a judge deciding your case in a public courthouse at a formal court hearing, it allows you and your spouse to resolve the details of your divorce in a private hearing.
Arbitration hearings are similar to what you would find in court. Both you and your spouse will present your arguments, offer evidence and testimony, and make your case in front of a neutral third party. However, unlike a formal court hearing, the hearing will be held in front of an arbitrator instead of a sitting judge. The arbitrator is generally a former judge or retired attorney who is familiar with California family law and procedure.
Benefits of Choosing Arbitration to Resolve a Divorce
Divorce proceedings can be complicated. They generally require the parties to attend numerous court hearings. And if the divorcing spouses do not agree on the terms, the judge will step in and make a unilateral decision based on the evidence and testimony provided.
Choosing arbitration can allow you and your spouse to have more control over the terms of your divorce. Although the arbitrator has the authority to make unilateral and binding decisions, you and your spouse have the ability to control who that third party arbitrator is. Moreover, you both have the power to set certain ground rules to help influence how the divorce will be resolved. Formal court hearings do not allow this kind of flexibility.
More importantly, arbitration hearings are private. You and your spouse must sign non-disclosure agreements and agree to keep the details of the arbitration and the ultimate agreement private.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or planning to file for divorce, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley divorce attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.