There are several different ways in which to resolve a dispute concerning children such as with which parent the child should live or arrangements for seeing each parent.
Most people would rather avoid having to go to court to resolve such issues if at all possible. A new family law children arbitration scheme has been developed which will launch later this year. The new scheme will offer the opportunity to resolve disputes concerning the exercise of parental responsibility and other private law issues about the welfare of children by arbitration.
Arbitration already exists to resolve financial disputes between couples going through a divorce. The arbitrator will make a decision that will be final and binding between both parties to the dispute.
In 2014 Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division handed down a Judgement in which he affirmed and approved a financial award made by an arbitrator appointed under the arbitration scheme. In his Judgement the President said “there is no conceptual difference between the parties making an agreement and agreeing to give an arbitrator the power to make the decision for them”.
Arbitration can have many advantages over court proceedings, such as it is likely to be a lot quicker than going to court and the same person will deal with the dispute from start to finish. You can also choose the venue and arrange meetings for dates and times that suit both parties. You can choose your family arbitrator, which has the advantage that if a case has specific requirements, you can find a particular arbitrator with the specialist knowledge that will help resolve the particular unique dispute. Arbitration is also private. The media are not entitled to attend hearings which are at venues the parties agree. Only the parties, their representatives, the arbitrator and any other agreed persons will be permitted to attend.
The rules of the scheme are currently being finalised and it is planned that it will be rolled out for July of this year.
If you wish to speak to Naim Qureshi surrounding any of the matters highlighted in the article, or for any other issues related to family law please contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01494 471 356.