Mediation & arbitration is a highly desirable alternative to “high-conflict” family law proceedings such as divorce & separation because they:

  • Promote healthy and open lines of communication between ex-spouses
  • Are less expensive and time-consuming than the courts
  • Keep spouses and children out of the courtrooms
  • Involve a highly skilled and compassionate mediator or arbitrator

At Carpenter Law, we’re often asked what the difference between mediation & arbitration is.

Hopefully, this blog will answer that question for you.


With mediation, people work with an experienced mediator to negotiate contentious family law issues such as:

In order for mediation to be successful, both spouses must make some concessions on the matters at hand.

At any time, one spouse can choose to end the mediation session or not accept the mediator’s recommendations.

Choose mediation if you want to…

  • Talk directly to your spouse about key issues
  • Be an active participant in the proceedings
  • Are willing to accept and adhere to the mediated agreements
  • End the proceedings as quickly as possible


In arbitration, a third party participant (the arbitrator) will assist in resolving conflicts with your ex-spouse.

An arbitrator can only decide on issues which are raised during arbitration, like:

An arbitration session is a low-conflict version of a court case. Both parties gather and present evidence and any spouse can have a lawyer by their side.

Once all evidence is presented, the arbitrator will render their ruling which is final.

Choose arbitration if you want to…

  • Decide who will arbitrate your case
  • Keep your affairs out of the public record of the courts
  • Have a final outcome with you and your ex-spouse must adhere to

More advantageous for children

As opposed to litigation, which is volatile and emotional, mediation & arbitration helps children because mom and dad agree to settle their differences in a civilized, respectful manner.

It also keeps kids outside of the courtroom, where sometimes devastating things are said and heard.

Lastly, mediation & arbitration is less expensive than a court battle (which means more funds available to help assist the kids).

And in most cases, an arbitrator or mediator can render a decision far faster than a judge in a courtroom.

We’re experienced in mediation & arbitration 

Our philosophy at Carpenter Law is to avoid high-conflict scenarios between divorcing & separating parents, if possible.

Mediation & arbitration is a big part of that. And we have extensive skills and experience in both areas.

If you’re looking to resolve your conflict with dignity and respect, we want to help you.

Take the first step by contacting us for a consultation. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours to speak with you directly about your legal situation.