How does divorce arbitration work?

Legal proceedings  can be intimidating. Many litigants have not been involved in the legal system before their divorce. Understanding how the process works can help allieve some of the confusion and allow you to focus on the issues rather than the process. 

As a follow up to our prior posting about ADR, we thought it would be helpful to provide some basic information as to how divorce arbitration works. 
What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution method that is growing in popularity as a way to resolve divorce cases. It is private and can be more expeditious than traditional litigation. While virtually any issue can be dealt with in arbitration there are special comsiderations that must be followed if custody and parenting time will be addressed
Custody & parentingtime arbitration 

Custody and parenting time issues are perhaps the most import at issues to be addressed in a divorce. The impact can be significant for both the parents and the children.  

In the case of Fawzy v. Fawzy which was decided in 2009, the New Jersey Supreme Court providedguidance on how custody and parenting time disputes need to be handled. 
What are the Fawzy factors?

First, all of the tetimony must be recorded verbatim. This can be anexpensive requirment and can be accommodated in several ways. A transcript can be made of the proceedings for example. 

Second, there must be a record of all documents used as evidence. The more detailed this record is, the better. It would be wise to retain copies of all documents used whether they be your own or those offered by the other side. 

Third, the arbitrator must make and provide to the parties written findings of fact and conclusionsof law that support their decision. 

Provided that these conditions are met, arbitration can be a helpful resource in dealing with custody and parenting time outside of the courtroom.  

About Sandy Durst

Sandy Durst, Esq., is the founding partner of The Durst Firm where he heads the Family Law Department. Individuals facing a divorce benefit from the combination of legal skill, common sense and compassion that Sandy brings to each and every matter. Each case is given the personalized attention it deserves.
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