Family Law Arbitration

Fast, efficient and private dispute resolution for family property disputes

Family law arbitration is a form of private dispute resolution in which the parties enter into an agreement to arbitrate. They appoint a suitably qualified person, an arbitrator, to make a decision, called an award, after hearing each party's case.

Family law arbitration can be used to resolve all kinds of property disputes.

The authority for family law arbitration derives from the Arbitration Act 1996 and an agreement to arbitrate.

The agreement to arbitrate must:

a. State that it is an agreement to settle property between the parties under s. 21A of the PRA.

b. Be in writing and signed by both parties.

c. The parties’ signatures must be witnessed.

d. Each party must have had independent legal advice before signing.

The lawyer who witnesses the signature of a party must certify that they have explained the effect and implications of the agreement to arbitrate.That means the lawyer needs to ensure the client understands that the arbitrator will be deciding issues the parties have agreed to submit to arbitration and (importantly) that they will not challenge those decisions (unless the arbitrator has made an error of law).

Ideally the agreement to arbitrate will also state that the arbitration is to be conducted in keeping with New Zealand legal principles.Doing so will preclude later argument that the agreement is invalid on the grounds that it strayed too far outside the bounds of New Zealand public policy.

AMINZ is establishing a list of family law arbitrators. In the interim, click HERE to contact us about who is available

To apply to be on the Family law Arbitration List, click HERE for the application and click HERE for the criteria and procedure for admission. (We recommend carefully reading the criteria and procedure, before making application).

Read about Family Law Arbitration in the Otago Daily Times, click HERE