Which Divorce Process? Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation

Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation
Charmaine Hast - Wedlake Bell
Charmaine Hast
Partner and
Head of Family Team

TDM speaks with Charmaine Hast, Partner and Head of Family Team at Wedlake Bell – on Family arbitration as a divorce process.

If you’re going through divorce and are wondering which divorce process to use for your divorce proceedings, you may want to listen to this.

Charmaine Hast talks about family arbitration and the difference between arbitration and mediation.

Questions asked and answered include:

What is Family Arbitration?

Instead of going to court, family arbitration is an easy quick method of trying to cut down on time and legal costs.  You don’t have to wait for a judge to fit your case in his/her list of other cases to adjudicate on a particular day because with arbitration, you choose your judge and you choose your timetable.

What is the Difference between Arbitration and Mediation?

Family Mediation is where the parties work out the terms upon which they’re prepared to agree, whether it’s children matters or  financial matters.  It’s by negotiation and there’s a mediator helping the parties reach a decision.

What you’ve got with arbitration, is that you’ve got two parties who say they’re happy to use the arbitration system, rather than the court system, and what happens is that the arbitrator is actually the person who says to parties, you’ve signed up to arbitration, this is my judgement.

What are the Benefits of Family Arbitration?

Speed!  You don’t have to wait for a court process,  If you issue proceedings today for children matters, you’re first hearing maybe in 2 weeks time or in 3 weeks time.

Is an Award Legally Binding?

Before you enter into arbitration, you’re actually signing a document, which is a standard form, set by the Chartered Institute of Arbitration. 

Both parties sign up to it and you’ll be bound by the arbitrator’s decision. 

The advantage of that is, the arbitrator’s decision is then binding on you, as the parties. Not only will you get a decision which is an arbitrator’s decision, you will also get a decision which is a court order.

Who are Arbitrators and what Credentials do they Have?

There’re retired high court judges, retired district judges, mainly barristers and a few solicitors.


Other questions in the interview include:

 Do I still need a Lawyer to Work with me During the Divorce Process?

How does it Work? What does the Process Entail?

Charmaine is regarded as an expert in English Family Law.  She is also a Family Solicitor Arbitrator.

She has particular experience in advising on big-money and big-name divorces. She is able to advise on cross-border money matters and has a particular interest in trusts and pensions.

Charmaine’s practice covers divorce, separation, civil partnerships, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, children issues, abductions and international law.

Contact – wedlakebell.com


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