Many people are not aware of the different options available for resolving their divorce or other family law matters in Ohio. Besides traditional litigation, Ohio Law and the state judicial system recognizes a host of alternative means of dispute resolution which can save time and money as well as reducing stress for the parties involved.
Arbitration is one method that is often overlooked but that can be very effective in meeting the needs of the parties involved. At Weis Law Group, we help couples use the arbitration process to finalize their divorce with an efficiency and economy that may not be matched through other methods.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
A method of legally finalizing disputes outside of the courtroom is generally referred to as alternative dispute resolution. Courts in Ohio not only recognize the effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution, they sometimes require parties to a dispute to attempt to resolve issues through alternative methods before taking their case to trial before a judge. The Ohio Judicial System includes a Dispute Resolution Section created to develop uniform rules and standards to be used when resolving disputes through one of these methods.
The Section recognizes the following approaches to conflict resolution:
- Collaborative law
- Settlement conferences
- Early neutral evaluation
Of these options, arbitration offers the benefits most closely aligned with litigation.
How Arbitration Works
In the arbitration process, both sides advocate for their desired outcome in front of a neutral party or panel—the arbitrator or arbitrators. They make arguments and present evidence to support their position, just as they would in court. The arbitrator or panel then makes a decision based on the persuasiveness of the evidence and arguments. In that respect, it is similar to resolving issues through litigation.
However, unlike litigation, matters decided through arbitration are heard privately. In addition, the process can be concluded much more quickly because the parties do not need to follow formal procedural and evidentiary rules, and the parties are free to set their own schedule rather than waiting for space on a crowded court docket. In addition, the parties can choose an arbitrator with specific expertise in the matters they need to resolve.
Parties must agree to settle their dispute through arbitration. The arbitration process is binding so that all parties are required to abide by the outcome. There is no right to appeal the decision of the Arbitrator, except under very limited circumstances. Many couples choose Arbitration because it brings finality to their divorce.
Advantages of Arbitration
Other methods of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation also offer the privacy, speed, and potential to reduce costs that arbitration provides. However, because a mediator does not issue a decision in a case, parties might invest significant time, money and effort into the process without achieving a definitive result.
When parties engage in arbitration to finalize the terms of their divorce or other family law issues, they come away with a definitive result so they can move forward. This provides an advantageous option in situations where parties are not prepared to cooperate extensively to settle the details of their divorce. All matters related to the divorce can be determined by an Arbitrator, except for the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities regarding children (i.e. custody), although child support can be arbitrated.
Learn More About How Arbitration Could Help You Reach the Right Resolution
Arbitration offers the advantages of out-of-court dispute resolution with the outcome certainty of traditional litigation. At Weis Family Law, we have decades of experience helping clients find the most advantageous solutions in divorce through a variety of methods, including arbitration. Amy Weis is an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers certified Arbitrator.
To find out whether arbitration might provide the best options for your family law matter, we invite you to schedule a confidential consultation today.