Navigate:

Is it fair that established rules can be ignored?

Actually, many arbitrators believe that ignoring these rules can make the arbitration fairer. The basic idea behind the procedures of an arbitration is to maintain fairness and equity. Relaxing the rules will allow the arbitrator to get a better understanding of the situations at hand without excess procedural interruptions. Look at it this way… You and your spouse know your situation inside and out. You both know what has transpired in the past and what you would like to see transpire going forward. It is your job (with your lawyer) to explain all of this to the arbitrator. Explaining this in an accurate and clear fashion is hard enough, so interruptions and strict guidelines (like that in a courtroom) will only make it that much more difficult. Many spouses leave a courtroom saying, "The judge did not understand anything I was saying", ""I would have been able to explain myself if I was not interrupted so many times", or "I wish I would have been able to say this". Relaxing the arbitration rules will help get the truth out.

Of course, there are arbitrators who do not ignore the rules of evidence and procedure. Many of them are known as "forum arbitrators," and they belong to the National Arbitrators’ Forum. This further emphasizes that you should investigate your arbitrator and his or her ideas and philosphies.