We are delighted to announce that Family Law in Partnership director James Pirrie and consultant Felicity Shedden have qualified under the Family Law Children Arbitration Scheme. The new scheme offers the opportunity to resolve disputes concerning the exercise of parental responsibility and other private law issues about the welfare of children, including internal relocations, by arbitration. Previously, divorcing couples were only able to resolve disputes relating to finance or property through arbitration. The Children Scheme will launch in July 2016.

Both James and Felicity are already qualified arbitrators under the Family Law Arbitration Scheme which covers financial or property disputes, as is director Bradley Williams.

Family arbitration has been growing in popularity in recent years and there are many benefits to using arbitration, including:

  • The ability of the parties to choose an arbitrator who has the particular expertise relevant to the matter in dispute.
  • The parties have a direct say in how the proceedings are run and can decide how to deal with financial disclosure and where and when the hearing(s) take place.
  • The process is more flexible and confidential than the Court process. The confidential nature of arbitration, in particular, means it is likely to appeal to high-profile individuals and those in the public eye with sensitive family law issues.
  • Arbitration takes place in a more relaxed atmosphere which is less intimidating than Court.
  • The hearing can often take place in only one day and the arbitrator will make a decision that will be final and binding on the parties. Only in exceptional circumstances can the parties back away from the award.

To find out more about how arbitration can be used to solve family disputes, please contact our arbitrators James Pirrie, Bradley Williams or Felicity Shedden. To find out more about family arbitration, read our summary or take a look at our arbitration brochure.