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The idea of pursuing a litigation alternative during your divorce is pleasant on the surface. The idea of working together with your ex and getting to maintain control over the terms of your divorce can seem like an ideal solution to a difficult situation and mirrors the celebrity trend of “conscious uncoupling.” For many couples, the go-to litigation alternative is mediation.

Unfortunately, mediation requires cooperation and compromise. In other words, it may not be the best choice for couples dealing with strong emotions toward one another. For couples who can’t reasonably imagine working together during a divorce, arbitration could be a way for them to avoid a contested divorce without needing to directly compromise with one another.

Arbitration involves a third-party creating a solution

Both arbitration and mediation involve those going through a dispute sitting down with a neutral professional who helps the people involved find a solution to their issue. However, in mediation, the professional primarily works to facilitate negotiations.

An arbitrator, on the other hand, will actually come up with fair and reasonable solutions after hearing both sides of the problem. Arbitration should be a neutral process that provides both people with a solution that can work for their current circumstances. The terms set by an arbitrator could also be a jumping-off point for direct negotiations between the spouses’ attorneys.

Just because you don’t think mediation will work for you doesn’t mean that litigation is the only option for your divorce. Discussing arbitration and collaborative divorce as potential options could give you a better idea of what might work for your family.