Family Law Arbitration

Family Law Arbitration

Family Law Arbitration

It is no secret that there are lengthy delays in the Australian Family Court System, which can see parties waiting years to finalise their property settlement disputes.

As a result, parties have the option to progress their matter to arbitration, which can expedite final resolution in a fraction of the time as if the matter had proceeded through litigation, to trial. 

Section 10L(1) of the Family Law Act defines arbitration as  “a process (other than the judicial process) in which parties to a dispute present arguments and evidence to an arbitrator who makes a determination to resolve the dispute.”

Parties can mutually consent to attend arbitration for property settlement and maintenance matters, but not for disputes relating to parenting matters.  It is also worth noting that arbitrators do not have the power to make a costs Order against a party to the dispute.

Parties to a property settlement / maintenance dispute will chose an arbitrator who will review evidence and submissions presented by both parties and provide a decision in the form of an arbitral award. Parties can expect a process that is tailored to their dispute and expedited time frames to a final determination. 

It is important to remember that the arbitral award is both binding and enforceable. Arbitral awards can be registered with the Court and section 19E(2) of the Family Law Act provides that registered awards have the effect as if it were a decree made by that Court.

If you are considering arbitration as a means to progress your family law property settlement / maintenance matter, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor that practices in family law.

Related Tag: Family Law Advice Gold Coast