Arbitration – The solution to Family Court Delays with Property Settlement
The media has recently been full of stories of delays in firstly getting matters heard in the Family Court, and then getting a decision handed down. Some matters are taking 2 or more years to come on for Hearing, and then to get a Judgement.
Arbitration is proving to be the quickest way to a Family Law Property Settlement solution.
We have recently been involved in two property matters in the Family Courts that have started and finished within 6 months. One involved a pool of assets of a little over $20 million. The other involved a pool of about $1.5 million.
The larger matter was set for a 3-day Arbitration before a leading Family Law Q.C. It settled on the third day. The other was set for a 1-day hearing but settled even before the Arbitration Hearing started.
There are a number of good features of an Arbitration:
- The Arbitrator must deliver his Decision within 14 days of the hearing.
- He or she doesn’t get paid anything till they hand down the decision.
- The evidence, and preparation for the hearing can be individually crafted in a bespoke way to suit the matters’ specific issues, timing and circumstances.
- Properly formalised an Arbitration decision has the full power of a Family Court Order, and is just as final, binding and enforceable.
Arbitrations are only available in property matters, but when one is dealing with business people they normally want to get on with business, so the opportunity to be “done and dusted” within 6 months is usually very appealing.
Clients in Family Law property settlement matters want their money, want it quickly, and want to get on with their lives – an Arbitration is the quickest way to achieve the outcomes the clients are seeking – funds, finality, fast.