If you hope to resolve the issues of your marriage outside of court, you may be looking into your options for dispute resolution. Two of the most common forms of alternative dispute resolution are arbitration and mediation.
Although both of these problem-solving tactics are often used by businesses, they also have a special place in family court. Familiarizing yourself with the differences between these two ways of resolving marital conflicts can help you make more educated decisions about what would work better for your family.
The benefits of alternative dispute resolution
Both mediation and arbitration offer a number of benefits. The most important is that they are private and outside of court. That protects your children from the trauma of a divorce and also protects your privacy.
Additionally, because you agree to terms for an uncontested divorce, arbitration and mediation tend to be much cheaper than a litigated divorce. You also have more control over the outcome when you use alternative means to resolve your disputes. Those benefits make them very attractive options to most divorcing couples.
Arbitration empowers a third party to make decisions
In arbitration, both sides of a disagreement effectively agree to relay their case to a neutral third-party who then decides on a fair compromise as a solution to the conflict. Arbitration in divorce is often very similar to the process that the courts take.
They will listen to the complaints, concerns and desires of both parties before presenting their final solution for issues regarding custody and asset division. The difference between arbitration and a court-based divorce, however, is that you have the chance to agree or disagree with the terms the arbitrator creates.
Once you go to court, you are largely at the mercy of the judge. However, if you don’t agree to the terms that you set in arbitration, you will likely have to go through with a litigated divorce after all.
Mediation gives you control over the outcome
The biggest benefit of mediation is that you and your spouse have absolute control over the terms that you set for the divorce. You will work with one another and your attorneys, as well as a neutral mediator, to find compromises that resolve the major issues in your marriage.
However, as with arbitration, the Ohio courts will have the final say, and they must approve or sign off on your agreement. If you aren’t certain whether arbitration or mediation can work in your case, it might be time to sit down with an attorney who can discuss your situation and help you make a more informed decision.