Arbitration is an alternative to a court making a decision. The parties hire a neutral person, known as an arbitrator, to decide the matter. It is like hiring a private judge. For many years, and in many states, arbitration was not allowed for child custody and related issues, especially in the context of divorce.
Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided, for the first time, that child custody and parenting time disputes may be resolved by parents using binding arbitration under New Jersey Law, subject to certain procedural safeguards. The right to appeal is strictly limited. This decision allows parties who cannot agree by themselves, to avoid long, expensive and public court proceedings, and have their disputes decided privately.
For those interested in reading the case, it is Fawzy v. Fawzy, 199 N.J. 459 (July 2009), 2009 N.J. LEXIS 634.
Separation & Divorce Mediator & Collaborative Attorney