As divorce lawyers and family law attorneys know all too well, the divorce and family courts are very busy. Divorce Court in New Jersey is open to the public. Your testimony can be heard by complete strangers, you will have little control over the input the Judge uses to decide your case which is usually rushed in family court and court dates can be spread over the course of months where judges, lawyers, litigants can forget their testimony and any kind of momentum your case may have will die while you wait days or months to continue testimony. The rules of evidence are sometimes too strict where a Judge cannot even hear important information about your case because someone did not comply with the rules or certain documents could not be obtained and the Judge will not permit copies or testimony concerning same. Divorce Court requires more lawyering while another option, binding arbitration requires more persuasion and for more evidence to come in that could be material information. Some benefits of using binding arbitration instead of going to trial in family court are:
1. Less time constraints
2. More focused effort on your case
3. More relaxed than court
4. More flexible rules of evidence
5. Smaller chance of an appeal
6. More control of the arbitration schedule than a court
7. You have a say as to who your arbitrator will be, in court, the Judge you get is the Judge you have.
8. Quicker decision from the arbitrator than a Judge
9. More input into the arbitrator’s decision
Binding arbitration is conducted at a neutral location and/or the arbitrator’s office in a less formal setting, less stressful setting. Parties can participate more freely than they can in court where constant objections and form of questions have to fit a particular non-human mode. In arbitration, you are able to present your case similar to divorce court, you are able to question witnesses, you are able to submit evidence and so forth all without the time constraints and distractions in family court. Many attorneys do not offer this option to their clients for various reasons but while it may cost more because you have to pay an arbitrators hourly rate, in the end, the case will still cost less because you will not have to pay your attorney for waiting around in family court, the process will be more streamlined and you will be able to move on with your life faster, isn’t that the purpose of getting a divorce? I think so. Did you know it can take a judge more than a year to decide a family court motion or divorce? Or that if the case gets appealed and stayed, you are stuck for at least another 1-2 years pending the decision! That would drive me insane.
When you are thinking about getting a divorce or have decided to file for divorce, work with an attorney that is comfortable with binding arbitration instead of going to trial in New Jersey family court, you will be glad you did. If you have a divorce case in Jersey City-Hudson County or beyond, contact our team on 201-706-7910 for a consultation in our 35 Journal Square, Suite 825, Jersey City, NJ office.