Charlotte Arbitration Attorney
What Does Arbitration Mean?
At Coggin Law, we believe in utilizing forms of alternative dispute resolution to settle matters associated with the dissolution of marriage. Similar to mediation (formally called "mediated settlement conferences"), arbitration is a method of alternative dispute resolution that gives you an option to resolve your differences outside of court rather than relying on the court to work out your issues and come to a resolution.
The court merely provides a venue where your case will be resolved if your attempts to reach a settlement are not successful. It is important to note that nowhere in the word “resolved” can you find the letters to spell “fair,” “logical,” “rational,” or “reasonable.”
In short, you should not assume that the court will be able to provide a result suitable to your liking, or that it will be compatible with the needs of you and your family. As such, it is advisable that you and your spouse make every attempt to settle the matters associated with the dissolution of your marriage outside of court.
Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration
Like mediation, arbitration is more cost-effective and efficient than the court process when it comes time to help you and your spouse resolve issues associated with divorce.
The key difference that sets arbitration apart from mediation is that arbitration is binding. Specifically, when you go to a mediation session with your spouse, all parties involved work towards reaching a settlement by the end of the day. This can then be codified within a Consent Order or a Separation Agreement.
On the other hand, when you go to an arbitration session, a binding decision will be rendered by the arbitrator after all the evidence and testimony has been presented and considered during a semi-formal proceeding.
The Arbitration Process in North Carolina
As a rule, the process leading up to arbitration is much like the preparation for a mediation session. Specifically, you and your attorney will work with your spouse's attorney to select an arbitrator who possesses the requisite knowledge, skill, experience, and demeanor to be able to address the specific issues associated with your case.
There will be an exchange of documents in advance between your attorney and your spouse's attorney. Your attorney will then prepare a comprehensive affidavit which sets forth the marital assets (bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, real estate, etc.) that have been identified and the associated value of each asset at the date of separation. Additionally, if there are child support or spousal support issues which need to be addressed, your attorney will also prepare a detailed affidavit which reflects your monthly income, needs, and expenses.
The key difference in the preparation of the materials for arbitration, as opposed to mediation, is that your evidentiary documents will be compiled in a much more formal fashion, with each document being labeled as an exhibit.
Like mediation, arbitration is usually held at the offices of one of the attorneys or at the mediator's office. However, unlike mediation where you and your spouse have limited contact during the course of the day, arbitration usually involves the presence of all parties involved so that the evidence and witness testimony can be submitted and each side is given an opportunity for cross-examination.
At the conclusion of the arbitration, you will be provided with an Arbitrator's Ruling. This ruling will constitute a binding decision on the relevant aspects of your case and will generally serve to extinguish any right which you may have had for a court review of the issues associated with the dissolution of your marriage.
Our attorney has 20 years of unmatched experience exclusively practicing Family Law.
We pride ourselves on being extremely responsive to our client’s needs. When you hire our firm, you get your attorney's one-on-one attention.
We will attempt to resolve your case in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, by taking a collaborative approach prior to considering court action.
Whether preparing for a meeting with you, or in preparation for mediation or trial, we take a “details matter” approach to every case.