Can I Appeal My Divorce Arbitration Award in New Jersey?
Arbitration Modification and Appeals Attorney Brick NJ
Serving Clients with offices in Sea Girt and Brick across Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
While going through the divorce process or any other family law dispute can seem challenging, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation, collaboration, and arbitration can be seen as viable and effective ways of resolving family law issues. Though the concept of a quick, inexpensive divorce option can be attractive, many people do not realize that arbitration awards do not need to specify findings of fact or conclusions of law; and unlike a court order, an arbitration award is subject to a very narrow and limited review on appeal.
Any time you are resolving the life-changing and complex issues that come with any divorce, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney in order to better understand your rights and options, and protect you and your family’s legal and financial futures.
At Bronzino Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience acting as independent legal counsel during the arbitration process for clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, and across the Jersey Shore. Our firm is dedicated to providing highly attentive and effective family law counsel in all manner of situations, including arbitration, mediation, collaboration, negotiation, and litigation.
Contact us today at 732-812-3102 to discuss your individual needs and concerns when it comes to arbitration or whether or not an arbitration award can be set aside, vacated or corrected. We can help you resolve family law matters you may have, in a free and confidential consultation with a member of our legal team.
Enforcing an Arbitration Award Ocean County NJ
Have you recently gone through the arbitration process and are unhappy or dissatisfied with award decision in your divorce or civil union dissolution case? Are you disappointed or confused by the outcome of the child support or the amount of your alimony? Are you left wondering “is that it”? Or do you find yourself on the other end of this situation, and the other party has decided they wish to appeal your arbitration award? The New Jersey Arbitration Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 2A:23B-1 to-32 provides the framework for the arbitration process (e., method, conduct, issuance of the award) and standards for confirming, vacating, and modifying the award.
If an arbitrator refused to review evidence related to your issue, was biased or partial to the other party, or acted outside their scope of power, you have a right to appeal that result. While divorce rulings and awards are affirmed more often than they are reversed, there are circumstances where an appeal may be successful.
Modifying Arbitration Awards in Monmouth County NJ
In New Jersey binding arbitration cases, any decisions reached by the judge arbitrator are enforceable and legally binding. Divorce settlements or other awards may be modified at a later time based on a change in circumstance, but binding arbitration decisions cannot be immediately appealed by either party for the sole reason that the decisions are not satisfactory. In order to change the outcome of binding arbitration, a family law appeal must be filed, and the plaintiff must prove that circumstances have changed or the proceedings were somehow unfair or illegal. Modifying an award is possible when:
- figures were miscalculated,
- the arbitrator makes an award on an issue not before them and outside the scope of the arbitration, or
- the award is so poorly written and unclear, that further clarification is necessary to enforce it.
In contrast, non-binding arbitration in New Jersey means either party is free to disagree with the decisions reached, and take their matter to be settled in family court. Since arbitrators are typically retired judges or experienced family law attorneys, the results of arbitration are generally in line with what can be expected in family court.
Appealing or Vacating Arbitration Decisions in Ocean NJ
New Jersey has specific statutes, laws, and guidelines to appeal the arbitrator’s decision and provide for the enforcement of arbitration awards against parties unwilling to comply with the arbitrator’s decision. N.J.S.A. 2A:23B-23 partly states that within 120 days after the award, a party to an arbitration may commence an action for the confirmation of an award and its enforcement, or for its modification, correction or avoidance. Under the New Jersey Arbitration Act, an arbitration award can only be set aside or vacated if:
- obtained by fraud, corruption, or any other undue means,
- there is a finding of bias or misconduct by the arbitrator,
- the arbitrator refused to review evidence related to the issue,
- the arbitrator acted outside the scope of their power,
- there was no valid agreement to submit the issue to arbitration, or
- the arbitration hearing was held without proper notice.
Contact an Arbitration Appeal Lawyer at Our Brick or Sea Girt Locations
At Bronzino Law Firm, we have years experience serving clients in divorce and Alternative Dispute Resolution cases across Monmouth and Ocean Counties in towns including Brick, Point Pleasant Beach, Sea Girt, Seaside Heights, Spring Lake, and Toms River.
We have the practical experience to counsel you on the prospective outcomes of an arbitration award appeal. Our firm prides itself on client-centered counsel in an effort to deliver the most effective possible legal counsel when it comes to the issues most important to you and your family. We focus on providing each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal counsel that they need and deserve when it comes to matters so critical to their legal, financial, and familial futures.
To speak with a member of our family law team in a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options for securing resolutions related to arbitration, divorce, custody or any family law matter, please contact us online, or through our Brick or Sea Girt offices today at 732-812-3102.