The Family Arbitration Scheme was launched by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) in 2012 to allow arbitration to be used in family disputes. Arbitration can be used to determine any financial or property disputes arising from family relationships, including financial claims on divorce or dissolution, property claims and financial claims relating to children.
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties sign an agreement agreeing to appoint an appropriate expert (an ‘arbitrator’) to determine their dispute and agreeing to be bound by the arbitrator’s decision. The arbitrator will look at all the evidence, including both the written and oral evidence of each party, and make a final decision. The arbitrator must comply with the IFLA’s Arbitration Rules for the Scheme and the Arbitration Act 1996.
Following the arbitrator’s decision, the parties are bound to apply to the Court for an order in the same terms because the Court must give final approval to the financial arrangements. The Courts will usually approve the agreed terms.
The benefits of arbitration are that it is quicker, cheaper and more flexible than court proceedings and provides a binding decision. It may be very useful where the parties have reached an agreement but there is a specific, limited issue remaining that they cannot agree on.
Parties considering arbitration can find information and the details of approved family arbitrators on the IFLA’s website at http://ifla.org.uk
We can help you by:
- Advising you on your alternative dispute resolution options
- Helping you to find a suitable arbitrator for your dispute
- Arranging arbitration for you and liaising with the other party
- Advising you during the arbitration process
- Drafting the arbitrators decision and/or any agreement reached into a Consent Order for the court