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The option of divorce arbitration

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When people in Michigan divorce, emotions can sometimes make it difficult for them to negotiate issues such as child custody, spousal support and asset division. Working with a professional mediator or engaging in a collaborative divorce may likewise not help the spouses come to an understanding. Historically, couples that are unable to negotiate their divorces out of court may be forced into the lengthy and expensive litigation process.

Recently, another option has emerged for couples that would prefer to avoid divorce court but can't settle matters on their own. Divorce arbitration permits couples that are in need of a third-party resolution to avoid the court system. As with many other types of arbitration, the couple and their respective attorneys present their cases to a professional arbitrator that is empowered to make a binding decision regarding divorce-related issues.

The advantages of this approach include both cost savings as well as the ability to reach a settlement without having to wait for a court date. The latter can be of significant concern in court systems that have a huge backlog of cases. Analysts also have noted that this approach can be beneficial in situations where the spouses simply don't trust each other well enough to effectively participate in mediation or a collaborative divorce.

Individuals who are contemplating divorce and have concerns about reaching a fair settlement may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer may be able to review his or her client's circumstances and make recommendations regarding financial and custody strategies. In the case of a contested divorce, an attorney also may be able to represent a client's interests during an arbitration or litigation process.

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David R. Bruegel, P.C.

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