We are readily available to assist you in taking the first step with a free, 15 minute, DRCA Discovery Call with our Business Concierge, Stefano Cammarano.
With our DRCA Discovery Call you are able to:
Otherwise, if you are ready to book in our services, simply click the “Book Now” button below.
Arbitration is one of the longest-standing forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Like Mediation, the process of Arbitration involves two parties to a dispute (with or without legal assistance) attending an Arbitration Hearing which is conducted very similarly to how the Courts operate.
This includes the same rules as with the Court regarding evidence, cross-examination, the filing of material and judgment.
An Arbitrator’s decision, through their Arbitral Award, is binding and enforceable and can only be subject to an appeal in exceptional circumstances.
Arbitration can be voluntary/by consent or court ordered.
If you are going through a Family Law (Property) Dispute, then Arbitration may be a suitable pathway for you.
If your dispute involves finalising financial matters or property settlement, including ascertaining the split that is to occur between the two of you given the breakdown of your de facto relationship or marriage, spousal maintenance and maintenance agreements, Arbitration can assist by providing a result in a manner much quicker than would be achieved by going through the Courts.
Your matter is suitable for Arbitration whether it is presently in the Court system or not, as long as all parties consent.
Arbitration is beneficial in a number of ways:
This a common question that we get asked. The answer is, it really depends on the circumstances of your matter. Of course matters that are more complex will require more time for determination.
As an indication, Arbitrations usually occur for 1-2 days. Please note that this is just a guide and is subject to the discretion of the Arbitrator and the circumstances involved in your matter.
Sometimes, and depending on what your dispute involves, it is not reasonable to expect to have all issues resolved in one day. We actively encourage everyone that enquires about our services to seek the additional help of our Collaborative Collective and schedule in a series of Mediations that actively addresses particular issues relevant to your dispute.
The first step is to get in touch with us. If you are unsure about taking the first step, we are pleased to offer you a free 15 minute DRCA Discovery Call with our Business Concierge. If you and the other party have agreed on a date and/or an Arbitrator, that's great! Let us know and we'll send you an Arbitration Agreement.
The next step is to collate and serve all relevant documents as requested by the Arbitrator. A list of what is required will be sent to you with the Arbitration Agreement. The Arbitrator will usually also include a timeline of events leading up to the Arbitration including any preliminary conferences, deadlines for filling of documents and the timeline for the Arbitration itself. This will occur through a preliminary conference with the parties' lawyers where these details will be discussed
Now we are at the week of Arbitration. All relevant documents would have been filed and served by this stage and the Arbitrator would have prepared and read everything in anticipation of the big day (or days) ahead. The Arbitration Hearing will resemble that of a Court hearing, usually at a large conference table (if being held in person). The process is relatively formal and the Arbitrator will be required to make rulings on the admissibility of evidence. There is capacity for witnesses to attend (whilst waiting in another room until they are required to give evidence) and cross examination of the parties. At the conclusion of evidence, Counsel for each party will provide their submissions either orally or later in writing. The Hearing can be modified to cater for COVID-19 restrictions and parties being situated in country or regional areas.
After the Arbitration Hearing, and submissions are provided by the parties' Counsel, the Arbitrator takes the time to write what's known as an "Award". The Award is usually delivered within 28 days. The Award sets out the "judgement" of the Arbitrator and what the determination of the matter is.
Under s 13H(1) of the Family Law Act, one or the other party to the award may register the award in the Court that ordered the arbitration. When an award has been registered, it has effect as if it were a decree made by that court.
An Arbitrator’s Award can only be appealed or reviewed by the Court in exceptional circumstances. Essentially, the Arbitrator has the same immunity and protections that a Judge of the Courts would. The Arbitral Award can only be reviewed or be sought to set aside where there is an “error of law” which includes fraud, impracticality, bias or lack of procedural fairness amongst other reasons. We implore you to obtain legal advice if this is the direction that you seek to take.
Stephen Scarlett is a former Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrate of the Federal Magistrates Court.
What greater way to have your dispute resolved, outside of Court, at a fraction of the price and with significant time-savings by none other than a former Judge themselves.
As part of his commitment to you to educate and inform you as to the benefits of utilising Alternative Dispute Resolution, Stephen has written a paper, exclusively for us here at DRCA, that is a complete guide to Arbitration.
As stated earlier, Arbitration can include expert witnesses. Since Arbitration deals with financial, property and maintenance matters due to the breakdown of your relationship or marriage, experts that can be engaged include:
These experts are able to be appointed to write a report for Court concerning the circumstances of your matter. This report can be produced to the Court or further, the expert can be engaged to provide evidence on the day.
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Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution
Allied Dispute Resolution