Family Arbitration of specified issues can save parties from incurring the expense of contested court proceedings. Parties obtain a private and confidential determination of specified issues which have been remitted to the Arbitrator for decision.
In a Mediation process parties come to the mediation table to attempt to resolve their issues with the assistance of the mediator who provides interest based communication assistance. But in situations where the parties have reached impasse and agree that they need a resolution, there is typically great reluctance to move back to a polarized litigation process.
In the Med/Arb process parties are offered the option to jointly sign a "Request to Arbitrate" and convert the mediation proceedings into a binding arbitration process. Within the arbitration process, the Alberta Arbitration Act allows an arbitrator to use conciliation and other settlement based processes before finally deciding the matter and issuing the Arbitration Award.
The Med/Arb process utilizes all of the information which has been communicated by the parties. No expensive litigation documents are required. The Arbitrator, having decided the matter after hearing from both parties and receiving the documentation produced by them, will issue a written Arbitrator's Award. The Award should list all of the information which was before the Arbitrator and which resulted in the decision.
During my Med/Arb process I have a scribe at the table taking notes of the submissions so that the Award will have the information foundation which gives rise to the Award. Parties are also welcome to have their legal counsel at the table during the process.