May 24th, 2019
Since 2012 parties to financial remedy proceedings have had the option of having the dispute dealt with in arbitration, rather than by the court. Arbitration is also used when dealing with children disputes. Arbitration does, rely on the critical fact that both parties agree to be bound by the arbitrator’s award and this is binding. To ensure that the award can be enforced, it is usually made into a court order.
In the recent case of BC v BG, the wife was not happy with the arbitrator’s award and sought an order that the award would not be made into a court order.
By way of background, the parties started cohabiting in 1998, had two children in 2000 and 2001 and married in 2006. The parties separated in 2016, and the children continued to live with the wife. Divorce proceedings were issued, and the husband issued an application for financial relief in November 2016. The application was listed for a hearing in February 2018, but the hearing was ineffective due to the court’s lack of judicial availability. The matter was re-listed for the 10th to the 12th of July, but that hearing was also ineffective because the judge was unavailable due to sickness. Not wanting any further delay, the parties agreed to go to arbitration.
The arbitration took place in July, and the arbitrator made his final arbitral award in August. The arbitrator divided the net capital 60:40 in the wife’s favour (both needed to rehouse themselves, and they had unequal mortgage capacities), awarded maintenance to the wife, and made a pension sharing order.
The wife was not happy with the award and did not agree for the award to be made into a court order. The wife made the following arguments in support of her case:
The judge held that the wife had failed to satisfy the court that it should not make an order giving effect to the award. The husband was entitled to an order giving effect to the award. The Judge made a cost order that the wife would pay the husband’s costs, in addition to her own costs which totalled £21,000.
If you are considering arbitration or have any questions, then please feel free to contact one of our specialist family solicitors at Hawkins Family Law.
Stacey qualified as a Solicitor in 2011 having completed her training with Hine Solicitors in Beaconsfield. Stacey has since worked for the Legal 500 firm, Duncan Lewis Solicitors in London. Stacey has extensive experience in all areas of family law including advising clients in relation to co-habitation, divorce, matrimonial finances, pre & post-nuptial agreements. Stacey was delighted to join specialist practice Hawkins Family Law (The Legal 500 2015 recommends the team as “exemplary”) in February 2016 and has considerable experience resolving children issues whether they are in relation to where a child should live or issues regarding contact.
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