The decision to end a marriage is seldom entered into lightly in New Jersey. When a couple decides to divorce, there are different options that can be exercised as to how divorce negotiations will proceed and to what extent the courts will be involved. Arbitration is one such option that reduces the role of the court and has an added benefit of taking place privately rather than in a public courtroom.

When a couple makes the decision to enter into arbitration, it is often to aid in the resolution of issues that they cannot agree on. The arbitrator listens to each side and can then make a ruling. If both parties agree to the ruling, the issue is considered to be resolved. Divorce negotiations can be completed with the arbitrator.

In a recent case in New Jersey, a couple had gone through arbitration and agreed to the arbitrator’s findings. A short time after a final agreement was reached, one party filed an appeal of the decision with the court, and this was followed by a request to vacate the agreement. The defendant argued that all parties involved in the arbitration knew of the defendant’s intent to immediately appeal the decision. The court ruled that there were no grounds for an appeal as there was no court record to be appealed since the divorce was settled in arbitration. If the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the agreement first, there might have been a court record to reference.

Divorce can be complicated. It is important that all parties understand what is being agreed to before final decisions are reached. A person in New Jersey considering a divorce and unsure of how to proceed could benefit from a conversation with an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer can review the details of a particular case and recommend options that are available that may best suit a person’s situation.