Divorce: mediation v. arbitration

Divorce: mediation v. arbitration

Going through a divorce can be very strenuous and difficult on the couple. However, it is important for them to know how they will proceed with the divorce process. There are a couple of options that exist that can help the couple resolve the divorce. Two of the most common ones are mediation and arbitration. It is important to know what they consist of and how they differ from each other.


During this process, the couple choose to have a mediator, who serves as an independent, unbiased third party, that will help them reach a divorce settlement. A mediation can be ordered by a court or it can be done privately. During a mediation process, both parties are trying to reach a negotiated settlement, and the final decision is made by the divorcing couple.

One of the benefits of having a mediation is that it is far more economical than going to court and it is also confidential. In court, anyone can sit through a hearing. Also, everything that is said is registered in a public record and anyone can read it.


The biggest difference between an arbitration and mediation is that, in an arbitration, the final decision of the divorce is not made by the parties but rather by the designated third-party, in this case, the arbitrator.

Both parties meet with the arbitrator without their attorneys and they talk over their goals with the divorce settlement and leave the arbitrator to decide. In several jurisdictions, the final decision made by the arbitrator is binding for both parties. One of the advantages of having an arbitrator is that an objective third-party has to deal with making the decision for the parties, instead of the couple having to deal with that burden themselves.

It is important to know what both options are and what they consist of so a couple can make the best decision when it comes to reaching their divorce agreement.