Practice Areas

Family Law Temporary Order Arbitration Services

A New And Timely Option

While the courts are currently limiting and postponing temporary order hearings due to the coronavirus crisis, our arbitration service is another way to quickly obtain family law temporary orders that are enforceable by the court, without needing to schedule a hearing with the Court.

Arbitrating temporary orders is a new tool in the family law attorney’s toolbox to help represent clients and resolve temporary orders in an effective and timely manner during this unprecedented time.

Our arbitrators are available now to assist parties with obtaining temporary orders using the timelines for motions. However, arbitration also has flexibility; if parties agree, timelines can be extended, or shortened. Temporary order arbitration will be held remotely via videoconference or teleconference for the safety of all participants.

Experienced And Trusted Professionals

Our arbitrators, Cameron J. Fleury and Jamie R. Walker, Kim Schnuelle, Theresa R. Lorella, and Mark Arend have substantial experience in family law matters and a deep understanding of the legal, financial, and emotional elements of family law issues. Their extensive experience allows them to review and resolve all family law matters, including cases that involve complex issues, in a fair and equitable manner.

The Advantages Of Temporary Order Arbitration

Because traditional Temporary Order Hearings are currently limited, or unavailable, the Temporary Order Arbitration option offers several benefits:

  • Timely: It can be arranged as quickly, or more quickly, than traditional temporary order hearings.
  • Effective: Resolve any and all issues addressed by the court.
  • Neutral: An arbitrator is an experienced, unbiased professional focused on facilitating a fair and equitable temporary resolution.
  • Safe: The process is remote, via video conferencing or telephonic conferencing, which meets the strictest of governmental advisories on limiting contact, e.g. “social distancing.”
  • Predictable: The parties get to choose who will be arbitrating their temporary order motion, as opposed to traditional court process, where you have no input/control of who makes the decisions.

Because the courts are currently either severely limited, or unavailable, for hearing temporary orders, this process allows parties to obtain the direction and assistance they need as their matter is proceeding. Further, it is anticipated there will be a large backlog of cases needing to be resolved once the “stay home” directives have been lifted. Arbitration will continue to help those at higher risk for COVID-19, or who have high-risk family members, who will benefit from ongoing social distancing.

How Does Temporary Order Arbitration Work?

Arbitrating temporary orders is a simple process:

  1. The parties determine they want to proceed and not wait for the courts.
  2. The parties contact McKinley Irvin to perform a conflicts check, choose an arbitrator, execute the arbitration agreement, and select an available date.
  3. Parties submit their motion and supporting materials, response materials and any reply materials to be reviewed by the arbitrator.
  4. After hearing oral argument (unless waived by the parties) the arbitrator will issue their written ruling to the parties who will prepare the ruling into appropriate agreed temporary orders, which are then entered ex parte with the court by the parties.

Is Mediation Available?

Yes. If parties would prefer to address their disputes via traditional mediation, that option remains available as well. Please refer to our Mediation page. Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to resolve matters by agreement. Resolution reached by agreement has been shown to provide a more holistic approach as well as a higher likelihood of parties being willing to abide by the orders, because they created them by agreement.

Is A Mediation/Arbitration Available?

Absolutely. The mediation/arbitration hybrid is a popular new option, which can provide parties with “the best of both worlds.”

In a mediation/arbitration process, parties first attempt to resolve disputed issues by agreement. If successful, the parties enter into an enforceable settlement agreement. The settlement agreement is then drafted into appropriate orders by the parties and entered with the court.

If, as sometimes happens, the parties are unable to resolve any/all disputed issues, then they can agree to submit the remaining issues to the mediator for a ruling that resolves remaining issues. Thus, the mediator becomes an arbitrator. Having heard all information and reviewed all documents, the mediator is in a unique position to make binding rulings as to any remaining issues. This saves the parties the costs, time, and the stress of “starting over.”

Contact Us To Reserve An Arbitrator And Arbitration Date

Arbitrators and dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be confirmed by our Client Services Department. For further information about scheduling, please call our Client Services Department at (206) 625-9600, submit an online contact form, or email us at arbitration@mckinleyirvin.com.

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