Mediation And Arbitration
Mediation can be an effective manner of resolving a divorce case outside of the courtroom. It occurs after both parties and their lawyers have had time to learn the significant issues in dispute between the parties and obtain financial and other relevant information. A mutually agreeable mediator is selected and mediation takes place at their offices. The parties with their respective lawyers work in separate rooms and the mediator goes between the two rooms to assist counsel with bringing the case to a mutually agreeable resolution on all issues. A settlement reached through mediation is not binding without both parties’ signatures or verbal agreements on a record. If mediation is not successful at settling the case, it likely will proceed to trial before the judge assigned to the case.
Arbitration is another manner of resolving a divorce case outside of the courtroom. It is a more formal process which requires a signed order from the judge and a signed agreement prior to proceeding. The rules for arbitration are governed by statute and the manner in which arbitration proceeds is determined by the arbitrator and counsel. After the final arbitration hearings a written arbitration opinion and award is issued by the arbitrator on all issues in dispute presented to the arbitrator. This arbitration award is binding absent certain very narrow exceptions. Once an order for arbitration is entered a case will not be tried before the judge assigned to the case.