There’s little doubt that the topic of alimony is emotionally charged. However, the laws relating to alimony are there for a reason—primarily to ensure that the non-working spouse going through a divorce is not left homeless and penniless when all is said and done. On one hand, proponents of alimony insist that a stay-at-home parent has sacrificed his or her career to take care of the couple’s children—therefore, he or she is entitled to alimony following a divorce. On the other hand, those who dispute the fairness of alimony point out the many cases in which alimony rights are abused.
In a divorce, determining alimony is rarely non-contentious. This is why alimony arbitration has proven to be a highly effective alternative dispute resolution process that helps divorcing couples avoid litigation in an alimony-related dispute. In alimony arbitration, a neutral, third-party arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) looks at the details related to the couple’s financial status and determines how much (if any) alimony is owed to the non-working spouse—or to the spouse who makes less money and will suffer extreme financial set-backs due to returning to a single-income structure.
Alimony arbitration certainly has its benefits. First, it is a completely confidential process, allowing the parties in dispute to settle their grievances without being in the public eye in a litigated trial. Second, alimony arbitration often takes less time than alimony litigation, thereby saving the divorcing couple valuable time and money. Third, alimony arbitration is legally enforceable and the decision of the arbitrator will be upheld by any court of law.
However, often the most important benefit of alimony arbitration is the fact that the arbitrator, or panel of arbitrators, is not limited by crowded court dockets and the impersonal interaction that often takes place between a judge (in litigation) and the litigants seeking legal remedy for their alimony dispute. Alimony arbitration, although similar to litigation in its process, is a less formal process and allows the parties in dispute to resolve their conflict in a cost-efficient, timely manner—all while maintaining complete confidentiality and privacy.