Divorce Arbitration

San Antonio Divorce Arbitration Lawyers

Alternative dispute resolution to divorce litigation in South Texas

Did you know that going to court is not your only option for divorce? Here in Texas, divorcing couples have several choices outside of litigation that may work for them. One of these options is called divorce arbitration, popular among spouses looking for a quicker and less costly alternative to hashing out their divorce in court. This may be a beneficial process to end your marriage as well.

If you are interested in learning more about divorce arbitration, the San Antonio family law attorneys at Grable Grimshaw PLLC are happy to provide answers. Our knowledgeable legal team is experienced in divorce arbitration, as well as other methods of settling divorce disputes in a mutually agreeable manner. We are also prepared to represent your interests in the courtroom, if that’s what your circumstances require. Contact us today.

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What is divorce arbitration?

Divorce arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), where each spouse can work out issues regarding things like spousal maintenance, child custody, child support, and property division. Although divorce arbitration resembles a court proceeding, it takes place outside of the courtroom and is not bound by the rules of court procedure. Each spouse is entitled to representation by a divorce attorney during arbitration, where they can each advocate for their position, as well as defend themselves against any claims or accusations from the other.

The arbitrator is a neutral party who listens to each side – much like a judge – and makes an impartial finding in one spouse’s favor on the matters at hand.

How does divorce arbitration work?

In divorce arbitration, divorcing spouses mutually choose a trained arbitrator to handle the process. An arbitrator is like a private judge (and is often an attorney or retired judge), and makes the same types of decisions a judge would make if you were in a courtroom. Your arbitrator meets with you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys as everyone presents their case. Disputes handled during divorce arbitration typically include:

Each party can submit evidence to support their case and have their attorney speak on their behalf.

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What are the advantages of divorce arbitration?

If you and your spouse determine arbitration is right for your divorce, it can have many advantages. Some of these are include:

  • Efficiency and flexibility. Settling your disputes outside of the courtroom often takes less time than a litigated divorce, as you will not have to wait for a court date to open up. You and your spouse can schedule times more convenient to your schedules. Less time can also equal less money.
  • Increased privacy. Taking your divorce to court means fighting out your issues in public and putting your information out for everyone to see. Going the way of arbitration keeps your marital issues private and lets you work out your matters behind closed doors.
  • Less complicated. Because arbitrated divorce does not follow the complex rules of litigation, you and your attorney are not bound by strict and confusing processes about evidence and discovery. This reduces the timeline and often-crushing amount of paperwork involved in a divorce.
  • Sense of completion. Divorce arbitration is typically binding, with limited opportunity for appeal – so when it’s over, it’s over. You can feel confident moving forward with your life.

The San Antonio attorneys at Grable Grimshaw PLLC are pleased to answer all of your questions about divorce arbitration.

What are the disadvantages of divorce arbitration?

Of course, arbitration may not be the right solution for every couple. Some of the disadvantages of divorce arbitration include:

  • Limited right to appeal. Again, when it’s over, it’s over. This means that if you are unhappy with the outcome of arbitration, you have little recourse for appealing the decision.
  • Both spouses must agree. Arbitration is a completely voluntary process and both parties must agree in order for it to go forward.
  • Enforcement. Divorce arbitrators cannot enforce a ruling. If your ex-spouse does not comply with the conditions of your divorce agreement, you may have to go to court to compel them to do so.
  • Increased cost. Although divorce arbitration is typically less than the cost of litigation, it may be more expensive than a simple negotiated settlement. Our attorneys can work with you to determine what solution is right for your personal circumstances.

Is divorce arbitration binding?

The state of Texas recognizes arbitration as a valid means of resolution. When divorcing spouses enter into arbitration, they sign an agreement stipulating the decision is legally binding and enforceable. If you do not specifically make this agreement in advance, then any decisions coming out of arbitration may not be enforceable. Talk to our San Antonio attorneys for more guidance on this.

How should I prepare for divorce arbitration?

Getting ready for the divorce arbitration process involves gathering a lot of information and documents. The more detailed information you have, the better. Your lawyer, and your spouse’s lawyer, will ask you both to identify your financial history, assets, and debts. This disclosure includes things like income statements, bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, real estate, loans, and things like that.

Before arbitration begins, you and your attorney should also consider the following:

  • Your goals and priorities – What do you ultimately want out of arbitration? What are you willing to compromise on, and on what issues aren’t you willing to budge?
  • The well-being of your children – This should always be parents’ number-one priority. You and your lawyer can outline a tentative custody plan and bring it to arbitration.
  • Tax implications of dividing your assets – How will splitting up retirement accounts or selling a house or business affect your taxes? Your attorney can help determine the effect asset division will have on your future.

The divorce arbitration lawyers at Grable Grimshaw PLLC can advocate for you throughout the process, determining the best approach to your divorce and helping you work through your disputes in private. We protect your interests and the well-being of your children, putting you on the path toward a financially stable future post-divorce. Talk to us today about how we can help you.

Strategic San Antonio divorce arbitration attorneys

The experienced divorce attorneys at Grable Grimshaw PLLC can help when you want to settle your divorce disputes outside of the courtroom. We work in various areas of alternative dispute resolution and are happy to find a solution that works for you and your family. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation with our legal team. Feel free to contact our San Antonio offices by calling 210-761-5687 or by filling out our contact form. We’re proud to serve clients throughout South Texas.