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Round Rock Divorce Arbitration Attorneys

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.

What is Arbitration?

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.

Voluntarily Choosing to Arbitrate

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.

Who is the Arbitrator?

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.

What are the Benefits of Arbitration?

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:

  • Agency and Control: While in traditional divorce litigation, the divorcing couple does not have the opportunity to select their judge, in arbitration, the parties are permitted to select a Round Rock arbitrator together. This opportunity to exercise some level of control over who issues decisions impacting the couple’s property and lives can be liberating and stress-relieving for many couples.
  • Privacy: Round Rock arbitration proceedings take place in a private Round Rock setting and the records of the arbitration are kept confidential. This is a benefit when contrasted with traditional divorce litigation because court proceedings and records are made open to the public. This is particularly useful to couples who have special confidentiality considerations.
  • Speed: While divorcing couples who pursue traditional divorce litigation often have to navigate through busy court dockets and wait weeks or even months to have their case heard in court, couples who pursue arbitration in Round Rock can attain resolution through arbitration by choosing a date that works for the parties, their attorneys, and the arbitrator. This can be especially important if there are certain matters (like the custody of a pet) that the divorcing couple wants resolved quickly. Along the same lines, while divorce litigation takes place at the designated courthouse, arbitration can take place at a mutually convenient location, such as a conference room.
  • Cost-Effective: An inevitable truth inherent to divorce is that the longer it takes, the more costly it is. Divorce litigation, while it may very well be the correct choice for some couples, is likely to take much longer than arbitration and to cost more. Because arbitration offers a final decision which can be rendered without some of the procedural requirements and long waiting periods inherent to litigation, is often a more cost-effective choice.
Contact a Round Rock Divorce Attorney for Help Today

If you have questions regarding whether or not arbitration is the appropriate path for you, contact our offices at (512) 746-7399 to speak with one of our Round Rock lawyers today.

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