What Do Arizona’s Rules Say About Arbitration in Family Law Cases?

What is the definition of “arbitration”?  Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure (hereinafter “ARFLP”) 66(B) defines arbitration as:  “a process in which parties agree to submit the issue(s) in the dispute to a neutral third party or parties retained by the parties for a binding decision, in accordance with the Arizona Arbitration Act, A.R.S. §§ 12-1501 to 1518.”

 Can family law litigants stipulate to use arbitration?  Yes.  ARFLP 67(c).

What issues can be arbitrated?  Parties can arbitrate all issues in their family law case or discrete issues.  ARFLP 67(c).

What laws govern the arbitration?  The arbitration is subject to the Arizona Arbitration Act (A.R.S. § 12-1501 et seq.) or other laws permitting arbitration.  ARFLP 67(c).

How is the process initiated?  The parties are to file written notice of the agreement to arbitrate.  The notice must name the arbitrator(s) and the dates on which the arbitration is scheduled.  ARFLP 67(c).

How is the arbitrator paid? The parties contract directly with the arbitrator(s). ARFLP 67(c).

Is the arbitrator(s)’ ruling binding?  “The decision of the arbitrator(s) shall be submitted to the court for a determination that said decision conforms to statute for entry of a decree or other written orders in accordance therewith.” ARFLP 67(c).

Alona M. Gottfried is a family law mediator, arbitrator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona@sglawaz.com.  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions. 

 Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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