Family Arbitration

Giving you finality on financial decisions

Family arbitration helps couples who are struggling to reach agreement on financial issues by referring the decision to a neutral, specialist third party (the arbitrator) and agreeing to be bound by the outcome they decide – even if it is a decision with which either person disagrees.

Rather than focusing on helping people to reach agreement, the family arbitrator is there to impose an outcome. Clare Thornton is one of only a few qualified family arbitrators in the country, and is happy to speak to you on a no obligation basis to discuss the process and provide guide costs on an individual case basis.

What does an arbitrator decide?

The arbitrator only decides on the issues that the couple agree need to be resolved. They will also decide on the procedures that will be used to settle the issues fairly, avoiding unnecessary delays and expense.

Who attends family arbitration meetings?

People can choose to be represented at family arbitration meetings by a solicitor, barrister or a friend, but this is not compulsory. In some cases, people decide to represent themselves.

How does arbitration differ from the court process?

Unlike a court-imposed timetable, the timing of a family arbitration can be tailored to suit your requirements. And, unlike a court, where different judges may be involved in different parts of the process, the same family arbitrator will (barring the unforeseen) oversee all hearings, which means things can move forward in a more focussed, and therefore more economical, way.

Family arbitration can be reassuring for people who doubt their former partner's ability to reach a sensible agreement to know that they will exit the arbitration process with a decision, providing finality and enabling them to move forward. It is also a flexible process, which can make it a quicker, cheaper and far less formal than other methods of dispute resolution.

If you’d like to discuss family arbitration with Clare, contact her on 01924 290029.