Sometimes called ‘private judging’, arbitration can give you much more flexibility and control, and is much less stressful than a court.

Your chosen arbitrator will look at the case papers and documents, and make decisions for you, whether about your children or your money and property.  It is also much quicker and less expensive than court.

How it Works

Arbitration is a form of ‘private judging’, and allows you to have more control over the process than you would get if you went to court.  However, it means that the arbitrator will be able to make binding and lasting decisions about arrangements for the distribution of money and assets, or the arrangements for your children.  You enter into an agreement with your choice of arbitrator, and you tell them exactly what you wish a decision to be made about.

Family Solutions offers arbitration under the ‘Children Scheme’ and the ‘Financial Scheme’.

It can be helpful if you are ‘stuck’ on something tricky, and which is stopping you from moving forward.  The advantage of arbitration is that you have a lot of choice – you can choose the arbitrator and the venue, and it is much, much quicker than applying to court.  it can also be much more cost effective, as you will usually choose what you wish to be arbitrated, rather than having a judge make a decision about your whole case.

Have a look at the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators for more information.


If you wish to instruct our arbitrators, you will need to submit an application form.  You will either choose an arbitrator together, but if that isn’t possible, you can ask IFLA to choose one for you.  You will be asked to provide some background information, and it is compulsory for you to see a solicitor who will explain the legal background to the arbitration – they will be asked to sign the form to confirm that you understand the limitations and scope of the arbitration process.  However it is not compulsory for  you to be represented by a solicitor, and that will depend on the case and the complexity.


The fees for an arbitration will vary from case to case, and it is sensible to budget for up to £4000 per case where there are several issues to be determined.  A less complex case will cost less.  As your arbitrator, we will agree fees with both of you in advance, and you will decide how much you will each contribute to the overall cost.

You may also need to factor in the cost of the venue, and the cost of legal help for advising about the initial instruction and form, as well as any later representation.  The usual rule is that you each pay your own legal costs, but the costs of the venue and the arbitrator are shared.

The arbitrator does have discretion in making costs orders if it is appropriate to do so.

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Our team comprises solicitors, mediators, arbitrators and more; we are recognised and accredited specialists in family law and non-court resolution. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 473624), and subject to various rules for the professional bodies that we belong to. Click on the links for more information.

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Family Solutions

T: 02392 481183
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