Senior family law barristers at 4PB provide arbitration in financial claims and children disputes, delivering timely, cost-effective, private and confidential resolution as a binding alternative to using the court process.


Family arbitration is a form of private dispute resolution where a specialist arbitrator (a private judge) is appointed to resolve a dispute, applying the law of England and Wales, as a binding alternative to using the normal court process.  Senior family law barristers at 4PB provide family law arbitration services in disputes involving finances and/or property and children. 4PB’s barrister arbitrators are leading family law experts and can provide swift, cost-effective, confidential, and private resolution of these disputes.

Financial Claims

Family law arbitration is appropriate for all financial disputes including those arising on divorce, civil partnership dissolution, ‘Part III” financial claims after a foreign divorce, separation after living together without marriage, claims for provision after death, and financial claims on behalf of children (Schedule 1 disputes).

Children Disputes

Arbitration is appropriate for many disputes relating to children, including living arrangements for children after separation, the time children spend with each parent, other arrangements concerning the upbringing of children (e.g. their schooling or the change of a name), moving children to live in a different part of the United Kingdom, taking them abroad temporarily (for holidays or schooling), or moving them permanently to a different country (where the proposed country is a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention).

Arbitration can be used at any stage of a dispute and can be used for a discrete part of an overall dispute (for example, to determine which school a child attends before parents agree on living arrangements).  An arbitrator can make both interim and final decisions.

The process is flexible and can be tailored to the needs and wishes of those involved and their legal advisors.  It is not ‘a one size fits all’ model but can be bespoke to a particular family’s needs, whether the family has significant wealth or often where they do not.

The process is discreet and confidential.  The new rules permitting the reporting of family law cases by legal bloggers and accredited media do not apply to arbitration.  The entire process is fully confidential.

Arbitration is ideal for people who want to resolve a family dispute without the huge delay and ongoing expense associated with a drawn-out court process.

Family law arbitration is voluntary. People on both sides of a dispute must agree to resolve their dispute via the arbitration process.

The Arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parties to the dispute.  It can be made an order of the court and can be enforced if a party subsequently breaches it.

If an Arbitrator’s decision is disagreed with by either side, they can now appeal the decision in certain circumstances in the normal court way, if the Arbitrator’s decision is shown to be wrong.

For more information on family law arbitration, and how to appoint an Arbitrator, see the website of the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA).

If you would like more information about how arbitration by expert family Arbitrators at 4PB could assist you or your client, please contact our Practice Managers, on 0207 427 5200 who will be happy to assist.