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Family & Property Arbitration 

There are two schemes: The Financial Scheme and the Children Scheme.

The Rules for the Financial Scheme can be found here.

The Financial Scheme can be used to resolve a wide range of disputes and issues including:

  • Financial and property disputes arising from marriage and its breakdown – including financial provision on divorce, judicial separation or nullity
  • Civil partnership and its breakdown
  • Co-habitation and its termination
  • From parenting or between those sharing parental responsibility
  • For provision from a deceased’s estate

It includes but is not limited to claims under:

  • s.17 Married Women’s Property Act 1882
  • Pt II Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Pt III Matrimonial & Family Proceedings Act 1984
  • Schedule 1 Children’s Act 1989
  • Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (ToLATA)
  • Civil Partnership Act 2004
  • Any question concerning the liberty of the subject
  • The status of either individuals or their relationship
  • The care or parenting of children
  • The bankruptcy or insolvency of individuals
  • Non-parties to the Arbitration
  • Welfare benefits
  • Jurisdiction or stay of cases
  • Issues concerning the recognition of a foreign marriage or divorce
  • Decisions from a Sharia Council or other similar bodies
  1. If both parties agree to the process, an arbitrator is chosen subject to their availability and terms.
  2. Once an arbitrator is chosen, the parties complete, sign and send a completed Application for Family Arbitration Form - ARB1FS for financial disputes to the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators. The form details the issues to be resolved and agrees that each party will be bound by the arbitrator’s decision.
  3. The arbitrator will contact the parties agreeing to act.
  4. The arbitration can be conducted either face to face or solely based on documents, sometimes supported by phone discussions.
  5. If there is to be a final determining meeting of the parties, the arrangements, venue, date, documents to be used, experts etc are agreed and the arbitrator’s fee and other expenses are paid.
  6. After the meeting and/or document review, the arbitrator will make a decision, put that in writing, including reasons, and send that to the parties, similar to a Court order.
  7. This is then taken to Court by the parties and will by consent become a Court order.
  8. Either party can appeal if there has been a mistake in law or some serious irregularity. However, it is very rare that the Court will go behind the arbitrator’s decision.

Further guidance on the process both from a lawyer and lay client’s perspective can be found in the resources section.

Trinity Chambers

The Custom House
Newcastle upon Tyne


Find out more about Family and Children Arbitration

Get in touch for a free, no obligation discussion about how arbitration can be a quick, cost effective and confidential way of resolving disputes, including options to deal with cases remotely by video conference.