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One of the most tedious and draining things about divorce proceedings is to go to courts for hearings. They’re unexpected, tiring and not to mention, expensive. However, there are other ways to go about a divorce without having to go to court or involving divorce lawyers. This is where divorce arbitration comes in. Here is everything you need to know about it.

Divorce Arbitration

Divorce arbitration is a type of alternate dispute resolution (ADR) where couples can opt for making decisions by themselves without getting any civil judge or lawyer involved. This is done through a third-party mediator, also known as an arbitrator. An arbitrator is a person who is qualified to be a mediator for a divorce to be handled outside of court. These people are knowledgeable in the field of divorces, laws, and division, but they are less formal and completely neutral.

The main gist of a divorce arbitration is that you and your partner will go through specific problems and find relevant solutions, without any involvement of the court. These things can include the alimony, who will get the child custody, how the marital assets will be divided, how the finances will be managed, and so on. An arbitrator can break in and make decisions for the couple if they’re having a hard time deciding on a specific topic.

A lot of the time, couples prefer this method of divorcing because it’s not as harsh or public. The two parties can resolve their matters in secret and get to conclusions in a friendly way, without having to throw jabs at one another. If you’re on good terms with your partner and the divorce is not affecting your overall relationship, as a people, then a divorce arbitration is a perfect way to resolve issues and go about your ways separately.

Pros Of Divorce Arbitration

Here are some things that make divorce arbitration a great choice for people.

It’s Less Expensive

One of the biggest complaints people have about traditional divorce proceedings is the overall expense of the process. Courts and lawyers can add up and if you’re not financially stable, then it can take a huge toll on you.

This is why people tend to go for alternate routes, like divorce arbitration because it’s not as expensive, and sometimes, arbitrators can take your case pro bono if you’re struggling financially. It’s a less formal process that doesn’t put a dent in your wallet, at most times.

It’s Private

Let’s be real! Divorces are already really hard to go through and add to that the constant court hearings and the publicity of it all; it’s one mess of a ride. Sometimes, people want to go for a more private approach as they’re going through this difficult and painful process and this is why divorce arbitration is preferred.

Statistics show that more than half of the couples who went through divorce wish that there was more secrecy in the way the courts and lawyers handled the matters. Divorce arbitration is pretty discreet and these meetings can be held in private, so there’s little to no chance of anyone knowing until everything is settled for good.

It’s Friendly

A lot of the time, divorces can deepen the wedge between the two parties and that’s because of the involvement of courts and lawyers in a private matter. Although people willingly go for traditional divorce proceedings, they still want to protect themselves and this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings.

Divorce arbitration, however, is a good idea for people who are and want to remain on good terms, even after the separation, which is why they go for this private proceeding method.

It’s Speedy

Another huge advantage of divorce arbitration is that it gets wrapped up pretty quickly. One of the biggest pet peeves people have about court-based divorces is the fact that they take longer than usual.

That’s to be expected, however, when you go about the traditional route because all courts and lawyers have packed and busy schedules and they will accommodate you, only when they find the time, and this is generally what leads to lengthy and never-ending divorce proceedings.

This is why people tend to go for divorce arbitration, because it’s private and the arbitrator can be available at any time, because they’re dedicated to your case only.

It’s Easier

Last but not least, another huge plus point about divorce arbitration is that it’s super easy to go through. You don’t need to go through the lengthy process of filing a complaint, having to wait for the papers to be served, the court calling you and your spouse and listening to your cases throughout multiple hearings, and then finalizing the divorce.

All of these things can breeze by pretty quickly in a divorce arbitration and you don’t need to wait a lot, which is a huge advantage. Some other types of divorces are more or equally quick such as uncontested divorce. Know more about it by consulting an uncontested divorce attorney Fairfax VA.

Cons Of Divorce Arbitration

Now that you know what makes divorce arbitration the best divorce proceeding to go for, here are some things that might convince you to think otherwise.

The Cost Varies

This can be quite misleading, especially since you just learned that divorce arbitration is less expensive than traditional divorce hearings and it is, but for a lot of cases, arbitrators can charge differently and the price of the entire process ultimately depends on how much time your arbitrator is taking, what’s their hourly or daily fee and more.

It’s better to do your research when searching for the right mediator for your case because you don’t want to overspend on a private divorce hearing that could easily add up to that of the traditional process.

It Can Get Complicated

Divorce arbitration isn’t for everyone. There are just some circumstances where traditional divorce proceedings are the better option to go for. Couples are not cooperative most of the time, especially if they are resisting divorce and don’t want to negotiate terms and agreements.

In this case, a divorce proceeding with the involvement of a court is the only and better way to go.

You’re Bound

You can’t just opt for a divorce arbitration and back off, just because “it’s not working for you anymore”. Once you hire an arbitrator, you’re going to have to listen and go through with the decision he/she makes.

Usually, an arbitrator is a neutral person, so they will only make decisions that are right for both of the parties, but that can be hard for a lot of people to digest.

You Can Get Duped

If your spouse is hiding certain marital assets, then it can be hard to proceed with divorce arbitration. The key to a successful divorce arbitration is that both of parties are transparent about their assets and other crucial things.


Divorce arbitration is an easy process of parting ways with your spouse if you don’t want to be bothered by the constant court hearings and other legal meetings. It can be a more convenient solution for a lot of couples who want to part ways amicably. If you’re not sure, get advice from your family attorney Fairfax VA.


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