Arbitration vs. Mediation: What to Know

Arbitration vs. Mediation: What to Know

Mediation and arbitration are both alternatives to a standard courtroom divorce. However, there are some important differences between the two that you should be aware of before choosing which you will go with for your divorce

Here’s a quick overview of each so you can get a sense of what is the best option for you.


Mediation brings the parties (with or without legal counsel present) into a meeting room with a neutral, third-party mediator. In mediation, the parties to the divorce maintain control over their divorce outcome, how the process will be formatted, who is allowed to come to the mediation sessions and how you will reach decisions.

Mediators do not make any decisions about the case; they are solely there to facilitate communication in a positive, productive manner. They may help prepare an agreement to then submit to the court upon completion of the mediation sessions.


Arbitration also involves the use of a neutral third party (the arbitrator). In this case, however, the arbitrator will be asked to work as a sort of private judge to make decisions in the case after listening and considering all evidence presented. Unlike in mediation, the couple does not have any control over the outcome or what the process looks like. There are also very limited possibilities for appeals after arbitration is complete.

To learn more about the differences between mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods, contact an experienced attorney at Solutions Divorce Mediation.

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