In Round Rock, as well as throughout Williamson County and Texas, divorce arbitration is becoming increasingly prevalent among divorcing spouses who are aiming for a faster, more private, and less costly alternative to divorce litigation. Please continue reading for a better understanding of divorce arbitration and why many couples are determining it to be the optimal method for settling their divorce disputes.
In Round Rock, arbitration (much like mediation) (insert link to Round Rock mediation) is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), meaning that it is an alternative to divorce litigation. Round Rock divorce arbitration is a voluntary process which is governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Much like mediation, divorce arbitration takes place in front of an impartial, third-party individual (in the case of Round Rock arbitration, this is the Round Rock divorce arbitrator). The arbitrator is an individual who is qualified and trained and who fully knows and understands all aspects of family law (i.e., a family law attorney or a retired family law judge). Unlike mediation, where a mediator does not issue a final decision, a divorce arbitrator sits in place of the judge and jury at a divorce trial and will ultimately issue a final decision. Before the arbitrator issues her decision, the parties are given the opportunity to present arguments and evidence just as they would through the course of traditional divorce litigation.
As aforementioned, divorce arbitration is voluntary and two spouses must agree to this form of ADR over traditional divorce litigation. There are several ways by which the parties might agree to arbitrate their divorce disputes. For example, the parties may have signed a premarital agreement or a postnuptial agreement, in which they included a provision stating that certain (or all) disagreements will be sent to arbitration. As an example, a premarital agreement may include a provision that any disagreements specifically regarding the family pet will be sent to arbitration. As will be explained more thoroughly below, the reason a couple my include such a provision is to provide quicker resolution with regards to certain forms of property (under Texas law, pets are considered property).
Divorce arbitration has certain distinct benefits (discussed below), however it is not the right choice for every couple. Continue reading to understand circumstances in which arbitration might be most appropriate for a divorcing couple.
As aforementioned, the Round Rock arbitrator is an impartial, third-party individual who is mutually selected by the divorcing couple. This person is oftentimes a Round Rock family law attorney or a retired family law judge. Regardless of past experience, as previously discussed, the divorce arbitrator will be an individual who is specially trained in arbitration and has extensive knowledge of all aspects of family law.
While a divorce arbitrator takes on the same role as the judge in traditional divorce litigation, divorce arbitration offers benefits unique to its form and which distinguish it from divorce litigation.
Note: While divorce arbitration offers many benefits, whether this form of ADR is a good match for a particular divorcing couple hinges on facts particular to the case. With that in mind, the most commonly cited benefits of divorce arbitration include, but are not limited to, the following: