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Written by Michelle McDermott

In the COVID-19 era, Court proceedings have become even more protracted as the Courts grapple to deal with hearings by telephone/video conferencing and many financial disputes are being delayed to enable the Courts to deal with more urgent parenting cases.

Arbitration is an alternate dispute resolution process in which parties to a family law property settlement dispute present arguments and evidence to a Family Arbitrator, who then makes a determination to resolve the dispute. The Family Arbitrator delivers their decision (or ‘award’) within 28 days, which is drastically quicker than the Courts. The process is voluntary and can be undertaken either by agreement between the parties or by direct Court referral. When a decision is made, it is registered with the Court and has the effect of a Court Order.

The Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court have introduced The National Arbitration List which is conducted, electronically, on a weekly basis. The purpose of the allocated listing date is to allow the parties, who are already in the Court system, to arrange and attend arbitration and for an arbitral award to be issued and registered.

If you think that your case could be suitable for arbitration, please contact our office for further advice.