Litigation can be a grueling experience. Between the time your case is filed and the issuance of the final order, several months, if not years, could pass. During that time, your family may be left in emotional chaos, limbo, and uncertainty. Having no control over the legal process, you are at the court’s mercy regarding how quickly your case will get resolved. Domestic arbitration offers an alternative to litigation.
An arbiter is a neutral third party who hears testimony and considers evidence at a hearing before rendering an award. Although less formal than a trial before a judge or jury, arbitration will result in a final binding decision. Evidence and testimony may be introduced to the arbiter by the parties or through their respective attorneys. Witnesses may also be called to testify. Even expert testimony and testimony from a guardian ad litem may be considered. At the conclusion of the hearing, the arbiter will issue an award on all the issues, including, but not limited to, property division, debt division, alimony, custody, parenting time, child support, and attorney’s fees.
There are many advantages to arbitration, the most important being the amount of control the parties have over the process. The parties decide such issues as who conducts the hearing; what issues will be heard; how long after the filing of the complaint will arbitration be scheduled; where arbitration will occur, and other terms of the process. Arbitration will last as short or as long as the parties’ desire, at an agreed upon hourly, daily, or flat rate.
Of course, a successful domestic relations arbitration requires a strong and knowledgeable arbiter. As your fact-finder, Daniele Johnson will scrutinize the evidence for reliability, credibility, and veracity. She will then use the experience she has gathered since 1999 to issue a just award, calculated to bring your family law dispute to a close as expeditiously and economically as possible.
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