Arbitration is one of the five statutory dispute resolution processes provided in the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act, in addition to mediation, moderated settlement conference, summary jury trial, and mini-trial. While some cases may involve a combination of mediation and arbitration, it is vital to understand the significant differences between the two processes.
In mediation, a neutral third-party mediator works with spouses to try and achieve a mutual settlement, but arbitration involves a neutral third-party arbitrator listening to both spouses and rendering a decision in contested matters. Arbitration is often sought because of the possible financial savings involved compared to the costs of going to court, but it is not always right for every situation.
If you are considering arbitration for your divorce in the greater San Antonio area, you should strongly consider having legal representation. You will want the help of an experienced divorce lawyer when dealing with any arbitrator.
Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. assists clients with arbitration in numerous communities throughout Bexar County. Our San Antonio divorce attorneys will sit down with you to discuss all of your legal options, including arbitration when you call (210) 349-9933 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Do I Need An Arbitration Lawyer?
When you and your spouse agree to enter arbitration, you are going to want to have an attorney for help picking the best possible arbitrator for your case. You will also want to consult a lawyer as to whether your arbitration should be final and binding or advisory and nonbinding.
Many people are choosing arbitration specifically to reduce costs, and an attorney can be very sensitive to these concerns. An experienced lawyer will be able to recommend which issues will be best resolved through arbitration and help you focus on addressing the matters that could result in the highest court costs.
An attorney will also be able to tell you when particular issues may be better resolved through mediation. The lawyer will know how to navigate the complicated legal resolution process so you can always choose the route that will be best suited for your particular needs.
Your attorney can always try to negotiate a settlement that avoids arbitration. When arbitration occurs, the lawyer will be able to help you present the best possible case to an arbitrator.
Why Choose Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. To Handle My Case?
All of the partners at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. are Board Certified by the Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law, and all of them have been peer-recommended for inclusion in the Texas Super Lawyers. Our former partner James N. “Jim” Higdon passed away March 4, 2018, but was widely recognized as one of the esteemed family lawyers in San Antonio and practiced law for more than 43 years including 21 at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P..
Founding partner Charles E. Hardy has 35 years of experience and is a member of the Texas Family Law Foundation, State Bar of Texas, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Members, and Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists. He was named a Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine every year between 2006 and 2015 and was named among the Best of Family Lawyers for eight years in Scene in SA Magazine.
Harold C. Zuflacht is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, a lifetime member of the Texas Family Law Foundation, and a fellow for the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. provides all clients with their final documents and make them accessible to them, so important paperwork is available immediately. We were named one of the best law firms in the nation by U.S. World News & World Report in 2015.
Types of Arbitration Cases We Handle
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 154.027(a) establishes that nonbinding arbitration is “a forum in which each party presents their position before an impartial third party who renders a specific award.” Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 154.027(b), an award is binding and is enforceable in the same manner as any contract obligation when the parties stipulate in advance, but an award is nonbinding and serves only as a basis for the parties’ further settlement negotiations when not stipulated.
Arbitration functions much like a court proceeding, with each party presenting evidence in support of their claims. Spouses can agree to arbitration before, during, or after family law proceedings.
Arbitration could be used to resolve one or multiple issues in a divorce, including:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Parenting Time
- Parental Relocation
- Alimony (Spousal Support)
- Other Modifications To Divorce Decrees
While money is one of the most common reasons that spouses consider arbitration, another advantage of arbitration is privacy. Using arbitration can allow spouses to privately resolve issues that could involve possibly damaging public admissions in court, and the proceedings can be kept confidential.
Arbitration can also be beneficial for people who want more immediate results. When you use arbitration, you will generally set a date for the arbitration, and you can be assured that the matter gets resolved on that date.
Arbitration can carry certain risks, however. An unfavorable arbitration decision can be very difficult to overturn, and some people may not be comfortable with how arbitration can result in decisions being made where settlements still seemed plausible.
Arbitration retains some of the adversarial nature of a divorce, but it will generally be less stressful than a court hearing. It is a somewhat less formal process that still needs to comply with specific rules, and arbitration can undoubtedly be beneficial for some people while it may not be the best option for others.
Contact an Arbitration Attorney in San Antonio Today
Are you thinking about using arbitration in your divorce in San Antonio or a surrounding area of Texas? You will want to make sure you are working with Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.. Our firm will be committed to helping you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case. Call (210) 349-9933 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.