If you are looking for a different way to end your marriage than through an expensive court proceeding, you can use an alternative means, such as mediation, to complete your divorce. These methods can save you money and lessen the emotional turmoil involved with divorcing. However, alternative resolution methods like arbitration and mediation are not exactly the same.
According to Entrepreneur, arbitration and mediation are two different methods to resolve conflict without going to trial. Before choosing one or the other, it may help to understand how each method works to see how each may apply to your current situation.
If you want to mediate your divorce, you would take your dispute to a neutral individual known as a mediator. A mediator acts as a facilitator between you and your spouse. You would discuss with your mediator the issues at hand in your divorce. The mediator, while acting as a neutral party, will try to help you and your spouse work out a mutually agreed upon solution. A mediator does not impose a solution, but can help you to arrive at one.
In contrast to mediation, arbitration takes on characteristics of a court trial. Instead of going to a mediator, you would take your dispute before an arbitrator. The arbitrator will listen to all the facts presented by you and your spouse and then hand down a final solution like a judge. An arbitration decision binds the parties, so if you go to arbitration, you would have less control over the final solution than in mediation.
Some people prefer arbitration because they cannot arrive at a solution and need someone to impose a resolution without the stress and drama of a court trial. Ultimately, the choice of where to arbitrate or mediate your divorce will depend upon your circumstances.