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What Mistakes Should I Avoid in Divorce Arbitration?

Divorce arbitration offers a private method for resolving disputes, yet pitfalls abound if not navigated carefully. Please continue reading to learn more about some critical mistakes to avoid during the divorce arbitration process.

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Seven Arbitration Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Skipping a thorough selection process for an arbitrator: The selection of an arbitrator is crucial since this person will have significant influence over the outcome of your case. Ensure that the arbitrator is experienced in family law and has a reputation for impartiality and fairness. Choosing someone with a deep understanding of the complexities of divorce law can lead to an outcome that avoids problems post-divorce.
  2. Failing to define the scope of arbitration clearly: Before the arbitration starts, it's important to establish clear boundaries and an understanding of what the arbitrator is being asked to decide. This involves delineating the issues that need resolution, such as property division, custody arrangements, or alimony. A well-defined scope helps prevent scope creep and ensures that all parties have aligned expectations about the process and potential outcomes.
  3. Neglecting to prepare emotionally: Arbitration, while typically less adversarial than court proceedings, can still be emotionally taxing. Preparing yourself mentally and emotionally is key to maintaining composure and making rational decisions. Consider consulting a therapist or counselor who can provide strategies to handle stress, communicate effectively, and stay focused on the issues at hand without getting overwhelmed by emotions.
  4. Underestimating the costs involved: Understanding all costs associated with arbitration will help avoid unexpected financial stress. These costs can include the arbitrator’s fees, attorney’s fees, and other administrative expenses. Discuss all potential costs with your lawyer to budget appropriately and consider negotiating terms that might help in managing these expenses.
  5. Overlooking the importance of a legal strategy: Developing a comprehensive legal strategy with your attorney is essential. This strategy should be based on a thorough analysis of the facts of your case, your goals, and the legal framework applicable to your situation. A robust strategy will guide your decisions and actions throughout the arbitration process, ensuring that you are working proactively toward your desired outcomes.
  6. Ignoring the possibility of settlement before arbitration: Often, parties might reach a settlement without the need for arbitration, which can save time, money, and stress. Explore all options for negotiation and mediation before moving forward with arbitration. Being open to settlement talks demonstrates a willingness to compromise and can sometimes lead to more favorable terms that are agreeable to both parties.
  7. Forgetting to review the arbitrator’s final decision for errors: Once the arbitrator makes a decision, it is generally binding and very difficult to appeal. Therefore, it is critical to review the decision carefully with your attorney to ensure that there are no errors and that the decision is based on correct interpretations of law and fact. If any issues are found, addressing them promptly with the arbitrator can be crucial.

These common mistakes in divorce arbitration can be costly and stressful. However, with the right legal team in your corner, you can have confidence and peace of mind as you move through the arbitration process. Contact a knowledgeable and skilled Stamford, Connecticut divorce lawyer from The Law Offices of Eric R. Posmantier today. Attorney Posmantier is also available to serve as an arbitrator for all divorce and family law-related matters.

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