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Proposed New Rule Change Would Create Arbitration Track in all New Jersey

While same is not yet the law, our New Jersey Supreme Court’s Family Practice Committee has recently recommended rule changes to establish an arbitration track for certain Family Court matters. While litigants can presently choose to avail themselves of private arbitration in order to expedite the process and have their matter heard in a more informal setting, the proposed rule changes would better integrate the “arbitration option” into our New Jersey Court system. The parties would be afforded a full year to resolve matters through arbitration, unless they could show “good cause” to extend the period. The parties would be entitled to choose the arbitrator who will decide their case, schedule their hearing date on dates/times convenient to all concerned, and have their personal family matters adjudicated in a more informal and private setting. The parties would accordingly be able to control the procedural aspects of their divorce and, in so doing, have their matter adjudicated sooner than traditional litigation in the Courts would otherwise permit. Arbitration, like mediation, offers divorcing parties alternatives to litigation that we here at Davis & Mendelson are happy to see are being more and more recognized by our Courts.

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