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What is Arbitration in Arizona Divorce Case?

Arbitration is an option that involves a third party called an arbitrator. Arbitrators, unlike mediators, act like a “judge,” as they are professionals trained to hear testimony, take evidence, and issue actual decisions for the couple. When a couple decides to arbitrate their case, all parties involved must initially sign an arbitration agreement. This document gives the arbitrator decision-making authority, narrows the issues to be arbitrated (frequently issues that weren’t resolved through Divorce Mediation), and defines whether the arbitrated award will be binding and thus become a court order.

As in mediation, you and your spouse usually both hire attorneys to help with the arbitration process so that you are both advised and represented by an experienced divorce lawyer. During the arbitration, there is an actual “hearing,” similar to a court hearing, but in a less formal setting. There are opening statements, presentation of the evidence, cross-examination, and closing arguments. Like a court trial, you have little control over the outcome. Arbitration is not always confidential depending on what your signed arbitration agreement states. This option also tends to be more expensive than mediation because you and your spouse not only have to pay for an arbitrator and each of your attorney fees but, depending on the complexity, the “trial” preparation is often as extensive and time-consuming as preparing for an actual trial.


Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.

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