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Background to Family & Children Arbitration

The Arbitration Scheme was approved by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) and was developed after consultation with the Family Justice Council and other interested bodies. The resulting Scheme is a collaboration between Resolution, the Family Law Bar Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).

IFLA Scheme Arbitrators are trained under the CIArb and after passing a demanding arbitral award-writing examination, are awarded Membership (MCIArb). They are subject to the CIArb’s Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Regulation. The Scheme operates under the provisions of Part 1 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and in accordance with the IFLA’s Arbitration Rules.

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

  • The Rules for the Financial Scheme can be found here
  • The Rules for the Children Scheme can be found here 

Family and Children Arbitration “Comes of Age”

In S v S [2014] EWHC 7 (Fam) the then President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby transferred the case, at his own direction, for a Consent Order to be approved to give effect to an arbitral award in a IFLA Scheme arbitration. In doing so he made it clear that: “There is no conceptual difference between the parties making an agreement and agreeing to give an arbitrator the power to make the decision for them”

Where approval of a consent order is sought from the Court, the President indicated that “the judge will not need to play detective unless something leaps off the page to indicate that something has gone so seriously wrong in the arbitral process as fundamentally to vitiate the arbitral award”

The IFLA Scheme has rapidly become recognised as providing wide-ranging advantages in terms of speed, flexibility, cost and confidentiality. In addition, it is possible to conduct some arbitrations remotely through secure video conferencing facilities.

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.