Divorce Mediation Blog

A Shout-out for Bullet Arbitration

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recently, we handled a case where the parties had been engaged in divorce mediation with a really great mediator, after litigating hotly, but inconclusively, for some time. They were progressing in the new process, but kept running into a stubborn problem: the value of the husband's business, and the level of compensation from it, were widely contested; so much so, that they could not reach closure on either asset distribution or support.

The lawyers for the parties called, with their mediator, and inquired about family law arbitration (an out-of-court adjudication to which they would agree to be bound, under rules and conditions that they themselves negotiated and set). We, of course, said "yes".

Within the week, a deal on the rules was struck: each expert would give a narrative presentation of his valuation analysis, subject to a defined period of cross-examination by opposing counsel and questioning by the arbitrator, followed by re-direct examination by proponent's counsel. The rules of evidence applied to cross and re-direct exams. The experts were sequestered. The arbitrator's (who also served as a master, facts final by appointment of the court) work product would be a report/award of the valuation, with a brief rationale. The parties waived findings of fact and closing arguments.

These were the rules that they chose, and that worked for them. The proceedings could have been less formal, or completely court-like, if they preferred; but they seized control of their own situation and made it work in the way that made sense to them: a successful negotiation.

Within about three weeks of the initial call, the hearing occurred and 10 days later the parties had their arbitrated result. It included a value for the husband's interest and it explained the income predicate used in the capitalization of cash flows.

A few days after, they returned to mediation and settled their case.

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:

Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles

recent posts


divorce and family law arbitrators DOMA Massachusetts Defense of Marriage Act SJC Obamacare divorce arbitrators mediators traditional negotiations med-arb family mediation arbitration Boston Levine Dispute Resolutions lawyers special master divorce judgment Child Support Guidelines dispute resolution Baseball Arbitration divorce arbitration divorce mediators Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC lawyer-attended mediation MLB labor agreement support orders Baseball Players Massachusetts alimony health insurance family support Massachusetts alimony and child support alimony reform legislation Divorce Agreements COLA fraud pre-ARA alimony high-risk methodology Baseball Cohabitation rehabilitative alimony divorce agreement med/arb child support private dispute resolution divorce process mediator Massachusetts lawyers divorced arbitrator family law arbitrator Major League Baseball Arbitration Divorce Levine Dispute Resolution The Seven Sins of Alimony Massachusetts divorce mediators family law arbitrators Alimony Reform Act Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly divorce and family law mediators Chouteau Levine mediation General term alimony facilitated negotiations Family Law Arbitration annulment divorce mediation self-adjusting alimony divorce arbitrator how baseball arbitration works Uniform Arbitration Act medical benefits Same Sex Marriage Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act separation lawyer resolve disputes family law Twinkies alimony divorce mediator divorce litigation LDRC mediations family and probate law disputes IRC §2704 Levine Dispute Resolution Center alimony orders alimony statute family law mediation Self-adjusting alimony orders Matrimonial Arbitration divorce mediations divorce lawyers litigation health coverage alimony law Massachusetts divorce lawyers disputes conciliation