Arbitration provides an alternative to the court process when dealing with financial or children issues upon divorce or separation.

An arbitrator is an experienced solicitor or barrister who has undertaken training as an arbitrator. He or she is appointed to make a decision that will be final and binding upon the parties in relation to the issue or issues in dispute.

Arbitration is beneficial because

  • it gives you a choice: you can choose the arbitrator who is right for the issues in your case and who has the relevant expertise
  • it offers a timescale and convenience: you can set your own timescale, arranging hearings for times and dates that suit you both, and knowing that there will be no unnecessary delays or adjournments. You can also choose the venue.
  • it is confidential - hearings are conducted in private and therefore it is an excellent process for people seeking a legal determination without the risk of publicity
  • it is bespoke: you can choose which issues you need the arbitrator to rule on. Arbitration can be useful, for example, where one or two issues remain unresolved from another process (mediation, for example).

Arbitration is not for everyone. Ultimately, it involves a decision being made for you. If you prefer to reach your own decision, another option, such as mediation, collaborative law or negotiation, may be more appropriate. However, it is a valuable process for those who seek a private, bespoke non-court determination.

Private FDR

A Private Financial Dispute Resolution hearing (FDR), otherwise known as an Early Neutral Evaluation, can be a very useful way to achieve an early resolution of financial issues upon divorce or separation.

This model adopts the process of the FDR within the court process. At the Early Neutral Evaluation or private FDR, as at an FDR, the evaluator hears submissions from each party as to how they see their case, before giving an indication as to what he or she thinks would be an appropriate outcome.

This indication is not binding but, on the basis that the evaluator is jointly appointed, the parties will need to think carefully before disregarding it.

Advantages of the process

  • The Private FDR can take place at any time before court proceedings are started - or at any stage during the court process. A court FDR is often not reached until between six to nine months after financial proceedings are instituted, whereas a Private FDR can take place at any time.
  • The parties choose an evaluator in whom they and their lawyers have confidence. You can also choose where you would like the evaluation to take place.
  • The evaluator will have had the opportunity to read the papers and prepare for the occasion. Sometimes, in a court-based FDR, the judge will have little time to read the papers, which can mean their input might be less effective
  • The Private FDR can deal with all or any aspects of the dispute which the parties wish.
Make an Appointment

You can make an appointment by completing the online submission form, or if you would rather speak to a member of
our team please call 01243 769001.