What is Arbitration?
Arbitration can be a very useful tool for those going through a divorce in Canada. The method in which arbitrations are handled is governed by the Ontario Arbitration Act, which went into effect in 1991. The arbitration process can also be used for other types of legal issues, including domestic, private and commercial cases.
By definition, arbitration is when the two parties involved in a dispute work through the issues with a neutral third party until a “final and binding” decision is made. The arbitration process is designed to let the parties retain more control over the proceedings and final divorce settlement. It is usually most beneficial for those who are divorcing amicably or already have a fairly clear idea of how they would like to divide their assets.
Arbitrations also offer the benefit of allowing the parties to work through and resolve the divorce process more quickly than a trial would usually take. One reason for this is that an arbitration allows for the parties to present their evidence without needing direct witnesses testimony — documents and written arguments are acceptable.
However, one aspect that is important to be aware of is that you cannot appeal an arbitrator’s decision. The final decision is legally binding and completely final, so it is absolutely crucial that you understand what the decision means for you and how it might affect your later on. A family lawyer is the best resource when it comes to understanding if arbitration is a good option for your case. A lawyer can also help you prepare for the proceedings and let you know what to expect once a decision has been made.
Source: FindLaw, “What is arbitration and when is it appropriate?,” accessed Dec. 23, 2015