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Stage 1 – Preparing for Family Arbitration

  • Step 1 You and your ex-partner have a financial dispute that you wish to resolve without going to Court.  You can use family arbitration to resolve all of the dispute, or part of it.
  • Step 2 You both decided that you want to use family arbitration.  You both with the help of your lawyers and using the IFLA website – “Search for an Abritrator” function, choose a family arbitrator and establish his or her terms and availability.
  • Step 3 You and your ex-partner will complete, sign and submit by post an application for family arbitration (Form ARB1) to IFLA PO Box 302 Orptington Kent BR6 8QX.  This form is used by you both to outline the details of the dispute that you are seeking to resolve.  By signing the ARB1 you are both agreeing that you will be bound by the decision of the family arbitrator.
  • Step 4 The family arbitrator contacts you both directly to confirm the appointment and then sends to you both a formal letter of acceptance.


Stage 2 – the Family Arbitration Process

  • Step 5 The family arbitration process begins.  How the process works is up to you both and the family arbitrator.  It may be a document only process, or include face to face and telephone meetings. If there is a final meeting this will take place at a date and time agreed between you both and the family arbitrator.


Stage 3 – Conclusion

  • Step 6 Both of you must pay the family arbitrator’s fee, as well as any other costs involved, such as  hire of a venue for the family arbitration meetings.
  • Step 7 The family arbitrator makes a decision.  The decision is put in writing and delivered to you both.  The decision will include written reasons.
  • Step 8 Usually both of you will take the family arbitrator’s decision to Court.  By agreement, it can become an order of the Court.
  • Step 9 You have a right to appeal if you think there has been a legal error or serious irregularity.  Your lawyers can advise you on this.


To find out more visit the Institute for Family Law Arbitration to include finding a family law arbitrator; read the rules of family arbitration; and download the application for family arbitration (FormARB1).