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Author Topic: Concerned About Arbitration  (Read 1766 times)

emerson

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Concerned About Arbitration
« on: Aug 27, 2008, 01:23:49 PM »
My Parenting Plan's (court order) dispute resolution clause requires a first stage of one mediation session, initiated by the party with the complaint/concern, with a mediator we've mutually agreed to.  Should there be no consensus/agreement on the presenting issue by the conclusion of the session, either party may request binding arbitration with our selected arbitrator.  

When I was negotiating the terms of the Parenting Plan with my 4 year old son's mother (joint legal and physical), binding arbitration made alot of sense.  

At the time, I had spent an agonizing two years trying to get the simplest things done with her or receive the most basic information about my son -- she was completely uncooperative and uncommunicative, rigid as steel on every single issue -- the only time she was moved to cooperate and communicate with me on anything was after I filed an OSC for joint custody (never married.)  

I figured that binding arbitration would give me an important tool for getting things done for my son (choice of school, health care, etc..) when we either needed to make a decision together or I needed help because she was just blowing off entire sections of our court order (a very common occurence.)  

But now I'm a bit concerned.  My son's mother, who previously was loathe to spend a penny on lawyers, has been given the key to her father's considerable financial resources, and she has been spending it all on lawyers, bombarding me with letters which insist on changing central aspects of a Parenting Plan we both agreed to.  Meanwhile, I'm broken financially from the year of trying to get her to the table and fending off her legal attacks.  

She now floods me with demands (through her lawyer) to change this aspect of our custodial arrangement or that in order to whittle away at my time with my son and my voice in the major and minor decisions of his life.  She requests mediation, where she takes meticulous notes on all of my objections to the changes she's demanding, then turns them over to her lawyer who uses them in arbitration.

A judge picked her choice for arbitrator over my choice, and he is deciding every decision in her favor (in some cases legitimately so, but in other cases there's no basis at all for granting her demands and he grants them anyway.  My lawyer is horrified at the blatant bias.)  

There seems to be no end to what she can impose on me through this binding arbitration, and my lawyer tells me i have no path of appeal.  

Am I stuck with this dispute resolution process for the next 14 years? Is there any way at all that I can either 1) petition the court for a change of arbitrator or 2) have binding arbitration replaced by a Special Master, whose judgement is appealable?  

Any thoughts you might have would be quite appreciated, and thank you for this incredibly important forum.  


superdad01

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RE: Concerned About Arbitration
« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 2008, 06:43:44 PM »
Well I can't give you the actual legal advice you want but as one man to another are your suprised with what your seeing? I mean seriously. Such as my case I don't wanna say give up, but know when to pick and choose your battles. Sometimes just winning a battle is not worth losing a war.

Be firm in what you truly believe is in the best interests of your child.
Everthing else should work itself out.

emerson

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RE: Concerned About Arbitration
« Reply #2 on: Sep 02, 2008, 08:59:40 PM »
Probably right.  It's a hard mind set to become accustomed to.  Thank you for for your reply.

Fueledbyjava

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RE: Concerned About Arbitration
« Reply #3 on: Sep 03, 2008, 06:20:26 AM »
Just stick to your guns, don't let them break you down. That is what they are trying to do and usually it works. Just keep on pushing for what you know  is right, it will work itself out.

 

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