A “green light” has been given to divorce settlements by private arbitration after a recent ruling, according to a former Lord Chancellor.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton commented to The Times on a divorce settlement agreed by a couple privately under Jewish law. This divorce was endorsed by a High Court judge and Lord Falconer believes it will pave the way for many more ‘privatised’ divorces.
Lord Falconer said:
“This ruling gives the green light to divorce settlements by private arbitration. Until now there has been anxiety that decisions made in arbitrations could not be enforced. So couples did not know whether their agreements would be binding or not.”
“What this [latest ruling] shows is that — when the decision is reached in accordance with principles of English law — that courts will approve such awards. This opens the way to privatised divorce settlements.”
Lord Falconer is chairman of the board of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators. The institute last year set up a scheme to offer arbitration as an alternative way to resolve family disputes.
As well as being a family lawyer I am a qualified arbitrator. In fact I was among the first 35 solicitors, barristers and ex-judges to qualify as a family law arbitrator in February 2012. I am also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and I would be delighted to assist in any cases where arbitration is required.