Mediation and Arbitration: Alternatives to Contentious Trial Divorces

Going through a divorce doesn't have to be combative or expensive or time-consuming.


There are basically 3 options available to divorcing couples: Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration. Litigation is the more traditional view of divorce, where both parties are represented by attorneys and the case is presented to a judge in court for decision. This type of divorce can be very time consuming and expensive as well as adversarial.




In the mediation process, the couple meets with a mediator who helps them identify and resolve any issues. When the couple reaches agreement, the mediator writes a document detailing all decisions which can then be reviewed by an attorney.


If there are problems in the relationship such as substance abuse or domestic violence, negotiating between spouses may not work. One spouse may not be willing to mediate with a third party. Also, cost is an important consideration as both spouses must hire attorneys even in a limited capacity as well as the mediator.


If you would like to try mediation as an alternative to traditional fault divorce, please consider consulting an attorney experienced in divorce and mediation. We can offer legal advice and review the settlement agreement before you sign.




Divorce arbitration is a viable alternative to a divorce trial in a court. Arbitration is similar to a courtroom divorce but the divorcing parties retain much more control over the process. The divorce arbitration process requires that you and your spouse hire a private judge called an arbitrator. Both spouses and their attorneys present their cases to the arbitrator who will make decisions just as a judge would.


Arbitration can work well for those divorces where the parties cannot mediate effectively or want to avoid the greater expense and time period of going to trial. Divorce arbitration proceeds much more quickly than court litigation.


An important distinction between mediation and arbitration is that divorce arbitration does not result in mutual agreement. The arbitrator makes the final decision. It's possible that one or both spouses will be unhappy with this decision - which cannot be appealed.


The divorcing couple has more control over the arbitration process, choosing the arbitrator as well as the structure, timing and location of the arbitration. Both parties agree in advance as which issues will be arbitrated, how to record the proceedings and how the rules of evidence will apply.


An arbitrator will usually declare a decision within 30 days, where a courtroom divorce often can continue for months.


We'd Like To Represent You in Your Divorce Litigation, Mediation or Arbitration


If you or a family member needs legal help in a divorce or any other type of family law issue, has experienced employment discrimination, or has been injured in a car accident or by any other type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Livingston, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.