Mediation vs Arbitration

Let’s look at the differences between mediation and arbitration

MEDIATION 

 

ARBITRATION

A neutral third party facilitates discussion and helps people reach agreement. Very informal. Witnesses and exhibits aren’t required. 

HOW IT WORKS 

A neutral third party takes testimony and weighs evidence outside of court. Less formal than a courtroom trial, but sworn testimony and exhibits are required.

A mediator has no power to make rulings or compel settlement. 

AUTHORITY 

With few exceptions, an arbitrator’s decision results in the court’s final order or decree. 

Usually one day 

TIME 

Can be one day or many days 

Usually $2,800 

COST 

Usually $2,800 to $10,000 or more 

Extremely confidential 

CONFIDENTIALITY 

A private hearing but less confidential 

Almost any family law case, even for those who think settlement is unlikely 

WHICH ONE FOR YOU? 

Not for every case. Works when both sides want a private proceeding less formal than trial, but still results in a decision. Can be scheduled more quickly than a trial. Some prenuptial agreements require arbitration instead of a trial.

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