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Cost effective. Speedy. Legally binding. Bespoke.

Deciding Family Law cases outside Court.


Family Law litigants learn quickly that deciding their cases in Court is expensive and slow. Rather than taking months, it can take years for a Court to decide a Family Law case. The financial costs can feel endless and the emotional toll feel unending. The solution for delayed and expensive litigation is binding Arbitration.

Arbitration is the binding and fair resolution of a disagreement by an independent third party experienced in Family Law. The experienced third party is known as the ‘Arbitrator’. The decision of the arbitrator is binding on the parties and is therefore a genuine alternative to a Court hearing where a determination is sought.

The arbitration process is tailored to the individual case. It could include several interim hearings followed by a final determination or a much simpler process which takes place solely based on written representations

Arbitration can be used to determine the substantive issues in a case or one discrete point of dispute. It therefore lends itself well to supplementing the mediation process which can break down where the parties are stuck on one specific point. It can also be used as part of the court process to speed up resolution of an issue which may take several court hearings and considerable time to resolve.

Other benefits include:

  • Completely private and confidential - no public reporting is possible.

  • Totally flexible - hearings take place at a time, at a venue and in a format chosen by the parties.

  • It is effective - unlike in Court, there is no risk of the case being taken out of the list at short notice or not reached

Member of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators

Distinctly experienced to decide Family Law cases.


Matthew is a qualified Arbitrator and approved to decide Children and Parenting arbitrations in England & Wales under the Children Act 1989. He draws on his experience as a part-time Family Court judge to sensitively decide cases. He can help with:

  • Directions hearings, including deciding procedural issues

  • All interim issues (including contact, permission for travel overseas and schooling)

  • Final hearing issues (including permanent relocation overseas)

Matthew is also approved to decide Financial Arbitrations dealing with the property of separating couples under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973; Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989; and on trusts principles. He can help with:

  • Directions hearings, including deciding procedural issues

  • All interim issues (including spousal maintenance)

  • Final hearing issues (including cases involving third parties)

Matthew is flexible and will always accomodate the parties' needs. Hearings can be held on paper, online and in-person.

Each case will have its own needs, but indicative costs (inclusive of reading time and Determination writing time) of Children Act arbitration are:

Preliminary Hearing: £700

Other Procedural Hearing £1,200

1 Day Contested Hearing: £2,600

Indicative costs of a matrimonial property, cohabitee and provision for children (Schedule 1) Arbitrations (inclusive of reading time and Award writing time)  are:

Preliminary Hearing: £800

Other Procedural Hearing £1,700

1 Day Contested Hearing: £3,300

Matthew does not charge VAT.

Want to stay out of Court but Arbitration isn't right for you, why not try Family Law Mediation?

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