The idea of going through the divorce process with your soon-to-be-ex may understandably be overwhelming, as you essentially have to figure out how to separate your intertwined finances and emotions. Having to go to trial to achieve this may only add stress to the situation since divorce litigation is hardly amicable.
Rather than going the trial route in Minnesota, you and your spouse may choose to take advantage of an alternative dispute resolution known as arbitration. This process is vastly different from the other alternative dispute resolution processes of mediation and collaboration.
What is arbitration?
With arbitration, you and your future ex can choose a neutral third party to listen to both sides' evidence and then make important decisions in your case. This process is particularly effective if you and your spouse have already agreed on the majority of your divorce issues. For it to work, both you and the other party must be willing to accept the arbitrator's decisions regarding the still-unresolved issues. The arbitrator essentially takes on a role similar to that of a judge.
What makes arbitration so unique?
Arbitration is different from divorce mediation in that in mediation, you and your spouse use a neutral third party to help you to sort out your issues, but this third party does not have the power to make decisions for you. Rather, you and your future ex are the ones who will ultimately decide on a settlement, ideally one that satisfies you both.
In addition, the process is different from collaborative divorce in that with collaborative divorce, the focus is on having a team of qualified professionals, ranging from finance experts to coaches, sit with the two spouses to help them to achieve a mutually beneficial divorce settlement. You and your spouse can still end up going to court if you are unable to reach an agreement.
What matters can I address during arbitration?
During arbitration, you and your spouse can tackle matters such as the division of property and spousal support. You might also have to rely on an arbitrator to decide for you how child custody will be addressed. During this alternative dispute resolution process, you have the right to pursue the most personally favorable outcomes considering the circumstances surrounding your marital split-up.