What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a legal process which is an alternative to court. It is a private court where issues can be resolved in a cost efficient way with minimal lawyer involvement.
In arbitration, the parties grant the arbitrator the power to make a binding decision in their matter. In other words, the arbitrator is hired to make a final binding decision relating to the issues. An arbitrator is the equivalent of a privately retained judge.
The arbitrator hears each party’s evidence during the arbitration hearing. At the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator makes a written arbitration award which is the legal equivalent of an order from the court.
Both parties are bound by the arbitration award and the award can be enforced by the courts.
How long does it take to finalize matters?
Through the court process, a disputed issue takes approximately 1-2 years to be finalized. The parties must first attend a case conference, followed by a motion or settlement conference before proceeding to trial. Trial is the final hearing where all issues are decided on a final basis.
Getting to trial through the arbitration process can take place within weeks as opposed to months or years.
The speed at which you can resolve all of your custody, access, child support, spousal support and equalization of net family property issues is key. The faster these issues are finalized, the lower your fees are and the faster you can move on with your life.
What about confidentiality?
Another benefit of arbitration is that all proceedings are completely confidential. The court process is open to the public and the judge’s decision in your matter can be published on websites such as CANLii for the general public’s consumption. The arbitration process guarantees that your private matters remain private.
How much does arbitration cost?
The court process is governed by the Family Law Rules and other unwritten rules which makes it extremely difficult for parties to proceed without legal representation.
The simplified arbitration process allows the arbitration hearing to take place with, or without lawyers. This means that your family may save hundreds of dollars per hour by having each party represent him or herself, if he/she chooses to do so.
The parties will share the arbitrator’s hourly rate rather than hiring two lawyers. After the initial consultations, I will provide a quote based on the estimated duration of the proceeding. The duration of the proceeding will depend on factors such as the number of issues, the complexity of the issues, the involvement of experts and the number of witnesses.
How to begin the process?
In order to have your matter finalized through arbitration both parties must agree to the process. I will meet with each party individually. We will then proceed with a power imbalance assessment. The arbitration hearing can take place within weeks from our initial consultation.
Contact me today at 613.841.9099 or firstname.lastname@example.org in order to schedule your initial consultations and begin the process.