When you began your marriage in Albemarle, NC, you probably thought it would last forever. It is likely that you planned for forever, living your life as if you and your spouse would retire together. Unfortunately, a life-long marriage is not always the case, and a separation should be expected to cause some pain. Even if the decision is mutually made between the two spouses, going through the process of separating your life from another can be a daunting task. It becomes even more complicated when you share children, pets, or high-value property.
As with most difficult tasks, having a skilled professional in your corner can make all the difference. With more than 25 years of experience, the Law Offices of Aimee E. Cain can support you through the process. Our team can provide judgment-free advice to help you make decisions based on rationale instead of high emotions.
The media often portrays contentious divorces that drag on in litigation for months or even years due to fighting and disputes. Litigation during a divorce puts the outcome firmly in the hands of the impartial judge presiding over the case. This can make the courtroom seem even more daunting for couples going through a divorce.
Fortunately, there are many routes other than litigation to finalize a divorce. One of these routes is arbitration. Arbitration is a type of private divorce settlement that occurs similarly to litigation but is much less formal. A neutral arbitrator is chosen to review each spouse’s testimony and evidence, evaluate factors relevant to the divorce, then issue a ruling on the divorce. These sessions are generally scheduled by the divorcing spouses in a neutral setting, but the process is usually similar to the trial portion of litigation. Both spouses have the right to offer testimony, call witnesses, and present evidence that supports their side of the divorce dispute. The spouses may also have legal counsel who may cross-examine any witnesses and the other spouse.
Overall, arbitration is a middle ground between mediation and litigation. Like mediation, the arbitrator works with the spouses to help them reach terms that they both can agree to sign off on. However, the arbitrator’s final decision is considered final and binding, similar to a judge’s decision in litigation.
When compared to traditional litigation, arbitration offers several important benefits.
If you are opposed to resolving your divorce issues in a courtroom, arbitration could be an alternative method that produces more favorable results. An experienced Albemarle divorce attorney could help you determine if arbitration is a potential route for your divorce.
Although arbitration is much less formal and stressful than litigation, they do share many characteristics. During the hearing, each spouse can present evidence, call witnesses, and cross-examine the other party’s witnesses. Throughout the process, however, the arbitrator will be attempting to facilitate compromise to find resolutions for any disputes. Once all the information has been presented, the arbitrator will issue rulings on any undecided issues.
A divorce arbitrator is chosen by the divorcing spouses. A panel of arbitrators can also be chosen to oversee the divorce. There is no required certification for arbitrators, but they are often lawyers who have been trained in alternative dispute resolution and the applicable family laws. It is important to choose a qualified individual to act as an arbitrator over your divorce-a choice that a family law attorney can help you make.
Although mediation and arbitration both have a heavy focus on collaboration and settlement, there are important differences to consider when deciding if either route is right for your divorce. The most significant difference is that the resolutions in mediation are not legally binding, whereas the resolutions decided on by the arbitrator are considered binding. Before entering arbitration, parties must agree to abide by the arbitrator’s decisions.
You are not required to work with a family law attorney if you resolve your divorce through an arbitrator, but you are within your rights to retain one. It is often recommended that you work with an attorney during divorce arbitration. An attorney can help you more effectively present the evidence supporting your opinions on how the divorce should be handled. They can also be a resource for any questions that arise during the process.
If you are in need of an Albemarle divorce arbitration attorney, The Law Offices of Aimee E. Cain is ready to help. Our team is well-versed in applicable laws, allowing us to present a strong case to the arbitrator that supports your position on the divorce. We can also aid in separating emotions from logic, allowing you to make more rational decisions that are based on your interests instead of any lingering emotional hurt. Contact our office today to see how we can help you through your divorce arbitration.