781.708.4445

wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

Why we need a family law arbitration law statute in Massachusetts

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Family law arbitration is a concept whose time is way, way overdue. Arbitration is the private, consensual submission of a dispute to a person whom the parties select and regulate by contract, for a final and binding determination.

The parties pick their decision-maker, accounting for skill, integrity, convenience, cost and subject matter expertise. They choose their place. They set the timing. They define their own rules of procedure – or they may choose to apply traditional rules. They receive their decisions in a timely way. And, it is all private.

So, why isn’t every one doing it? For one, not every litigant can afford or wants to pay for a decision maker, when his/her taxes pay for judges to do that job. But mostly, I think that 1) most people simply do not know that this alternative exists; 2) many lawyers are uncomfortable with the prospect of the process (most have not tried it) because most available arbitrators whom they know well and trust are competing litigators, and selecting a competitor to arbitrate a case when you might be in court against the arbitrator that morning or the next day may be uncomfortable; and lawyers are leery of the fact that under existing law, all binding arbitration is truly final, and therefore, not subject to appellate process. So, feels risky, as it is the last stop for the client without further litigation recourse.

A few other states have addressed the second set of issues, by enacting family law focused arbitration laws that, among many other attributes, give lawyers and parties the option of preserving rights of appeal if they so choose. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has created a model act for matrimonial arbitration and you can see it at aaml.org. The Massachusetts Chapter of AAML has adapted that model act to local practice and law. This proposal is linked here at Proposed Family Law Arbitration Act/ Let me know what questions you have about it and/or what you think about this.



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



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


tags

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