Arbitration is a dispute resolution process based on contract. The decision of the neutral arbitrator is binding. The parties to a divorce can choose to submit all or some of the contested issues to arbitration. A clearly written arbitration document is provided prior to the start of arbitration such that the parties know which issues the arbitrator is authorized to decide. The parties then argue their case to the arbitrator, present evidence and examine witnesses. Following this process, the arbitrator issues an award on the prevailing claims.
Arbitration is considered an efficient and fair alternative to litigation following failed negotiation or mediation. Advantages include expedited dispute resolution, cost efficiency, optional rules for discovery and evidence, and privacy. Arbitration awards can become judgements of the court, or may remain private.