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Do divorces have to end up in court?

by | Nov 12, 2020 | Divorce

Divorce is one of the most painful and emotionally charged experiences that a couple can go through. Many discussions that take place during the divorce proceeding often reveal the same power struggles that led the couple to this point in the first place.

Issues like property division, including who gets the family home and other assets, alimony and child custody, become contentious and emotionally painful. It is no wonder that so many divorces end up in court.

What are the advantages of divorce arbitration?

People do not always realize that their divorce becomes a part of the public record when they go to court. If you value your privacy and that of your family, it might be wise to think of alternatives.

One very effective alternative to traditional litigated divorce is arbitration. Arbitration is one of several alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods for working through common divorce issues that has grown in popularity in recent years.

In arbitration, a neutral third party, often a judge or qualified attorney experienced in ADR methods, is asked to act as a judge in deciding points of contention. An arbitrator can decide on the entire divorce as well, outside of child support and custody issues.

Arbitration is typically taken care of in just a few meetings. It is quick, private and far less expensive than a litigated divorce.

What are the steps in arbitration?

In Connecticut, certain requirements must be met before an arbitration procedure can begin. The divorcing couple must have been Connecticut residents for 12 months, and there is also a waiting period of 90 days.

The process begins after both parties have submitted a written agreement entering them into binding arbitration, along with a court order that submits the case to binding arbitration. With this agreement, both sides accept the arbitrator’s final decision, which will be binding on both parties.

The arbitrator can oversee the main parts of the divorce or only certain points of contention. For example, if there is a business interest, both parties can submit to arbitration to resolve a valuation dispute. The arbitrator will oversee discovery, examine the evidence, listen to testimony and make a final decision. Once the arbitration is completed, a dissolution agreement is filed with the court.

Divorce is painful, no matter how it is handled. With arbitration, your family’s privacy is protected, and sometimes keeping the procedure simple and quiet can help everyone move forward.

As a divorce lawyer for almost thirty years and a veteran in the Connecticut court system, Attorney Jeffrey Hill has vast experience in arbitration. He is highly respected in the field of Family Law by his peers and hundreds of satisfied clients alike.



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