Mediation is a process whereby the parties, and almost always their attorneys, meet with a neutral independent mediator who is trained both at law and in the art of negotiation. The role of the mediator is to “pull” an agreement out of the parties. In other words it is the parties’ agreement, which is reached as a result of the negotiating skills of the mediator.
Arbitration is a decision by a neutral independent party. Arbitration may either be binding, or advisory. If it is advisory it simply means that if the arbitrator were a judge hearing your case, the arbitrator would decide the case in a certain way, and the arbitrator advises you how he or she would decide the case. If it is binding arbitration, then the arbitrator will enter an arbitrator’s award which is much like a judge’s decision; that arbitrator’s award then will be incorporated in a Final Decree of Divorce. In binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s award cannot normally be changed.
John K. Grubb practices family law in Houston. He has a BBA, MBA, and a JD Degree. John K. Grubb focuses a significant part of his family law practice on helping couples create premarital and prenuptial agreements in Texas.