Family arbitration can be an effective way to resolve disputes and conflicts within a family without having to go through the stress and expense of a court case. However, one of the challenges of family arbitration is to meet each person’s needs. And that the outcome is fair and satisfactory for everyone involved.

Here we’ll discuss four ways to reach a fair agreement and ensure everyone hears each other’s concerns.

Understand Each Person’s Needs During The Family Arbitration Process

The first step in considering each person’s needs during family arbitration is to understand what those needs truly are. Each family member may have different needs, wants, and concerns. It’s crucial to take all into account. Financial needs could be on the table. Or it can include emotional and practical matters such as living arrangements and childcare.

As an arbitrator, it is essential to take the time to listen to each person’s perspective to understand what they hope to achieve. Sometimes you must ask open-ended questions, encourage each person to share their thoughts and feelings, and be receptive to feedback and suggestions.

By taking the time to understand each person’s needs, the arbitrator can help create a more personalized and effective resolution that considers each family member’s unique circumstances.

Create a Safe and Supportive Environment

Another critical factor in considering both parties is to create a safe and supportive environment. Make sure everyone feels free to express themselves without judgment. Family disputes can be emotionally charged and stressful. It is important to ensure everyone is respected.

Setting ground rules for communication and behavior may be necessary. It could include avoiding interrupting one another or belittling other participants. Or it could consist of encouraging active listening and empathy. It can also involve providing emotional support and resources, such as referrals to counselors or therapists who can help family members navigate difficult emotions and issues.

By creating a safe and supportive environment, the arbitrator can help to reduce tension and conflict within the family and increase the likelihood of a successful and satisfying outcome.

Consider Creative Solutions

One of the benefits of family arbitration is that it allows for more flexibility and creativity in finding solutions to disputes and conflicts. Unlike a court case, where a judge has limited options for resolving a case based on legal precedent and statutes, an arbitrator can consider a wide range of potential solutions that may better meet the needs of each family member.

Try creating a detailed parenting plan considering each parent’s work schedule and childcare needs. Or you could develop a financial agreement that allows for more flexibility and cooperation between family members.

By considering creative solutions, the arbitrator can help find a resolution that meets each family member’s unique needs and concerns rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.

Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Finally, clear and effective communication is crucial for meeting each person’s needs during family arbitration. 

Listening to each person’s concerns and perspectives is a critical part. It also means being clear and transparent about the arbitration process, the potential outcomes, and any legal or financial implications.

It can also involve setting clear expectations for each family member, such as outlining the steps needed to implement the arbitration agreement and providing regular updates and feedback throughout the process.

By communicating clearly and effectively, the arbitrator can help to ensure that each family member understands their rights and responsibilities and feels confident and supported throughout the arbitration process.

Contact us!

Indeed, family arbitration can be a powerful tool for resolving disputes and conflicts within a family unit, but it requires careful attention to each person’s concerns. By understanding each person’s needs, creating a safe and supportive environment, considering creative solutions, and communicating clearly and effectively, arbitrators can help ensure that the outcome is fair and that all parties feel like they’ve had a say in the process.

At the offices of Dr. Ellie Bolgar, we’ve worked with many families in crisis to lead them toward an amenable solution. For more information on mediation, arbitration, and all our services, call us at 604-371-0198.