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Does an arbitrator have to be a judge?

No, an arbitrator does not have to be a judge, although some retired judges act as arbitrators from time to time. Some lawyers specialize in arbitration, and in some cases the arbitrator is not a lawyer at all, but is merely trained as an arbitrator.

We recommend that when choosing the arbitration route you spend the extra time to make sure you know exactly who you are hiring as an arbitrator. Make sure he or she has significant experience in hearing divorce cases and preferably has had family law experience as a lawyer or a judge.

Arbitration is often a choice for spouses who are in a hurry to get the disputes resolved. Being in a hurry is not necessarily a bad thing, but do not settle for the first arbitrator that is available. Your future is in the hands of the arbitrator, so choosing the correct arbitrator for your case may be the most important decision for you and/or your children.