What are the Duties of an Arbitrator?
The law clearly outlines the duties and responsibilities of an arbitrator, and understanding these guidelines can help divorcing couples ensure they are familiar with what usually happens in an arbitration. Arbitrators often decide the when and where of the happenings related to the arbitration. This can include the actual schedule and meeting place of the arbitration itself as well as where witnesses will be heard or where any applicable documents or property will be presented for inspection.
Arbitrators can also require someone to attend the arbitration to give evidence or appoint an expert to come in and give testimony on any relevant issues. An arbitrator also has some control over financial matters. The arbitrator can decide how the costs associated with the arbitration will be handled and also has the power to award either prejudgment or post-judgment interest.
It’s important to understand that while arbitration is a fairly formal proceeding, it is not the same as going through the family courts. However, it does have many benefits, including making it easier for couples to get through the family law process much quicker than if they would have used the traditional courts. It also allows the couple to choose an arbitrator that may be more familiar with their needs and family history.
If you are interested in an arbitration or aren’t sure what to look for in an arbitrator or how to prepare for the process, talking with a lawyer can help you gather the information you need to make the best decision moving forward.
Source: FindLaw, “The arbitration process,” accessed July 17, 2015