May 13, 2019 Feature

Utilizing Final-Offer Arbitration to Settle Divorces: A Proposal and Analysis

Rachel Schwartzman

Introduction

A divorce occurs every thirteen seconds in America.1 That amounts to 6,646 divorces per day, 46,523 divorces per week, and 2,419,196 divorces per year.2 Divorce settlements, like many other forms of negotiation, often begin with the parties making offers and demands at two opposite ends of the spectrum, in anticipation of being forced to compromise as the negotiation draws out. However, the more extreme the initial demands are, the longer the divorce takes. In order to avoid lengthy and expensive divorces, many couples seek alternative dispute resolution methods to settle their disputes.3 While methods such as mediation and arbitration currently exist and are advantageous for reducing costs and time spent negotiating divorce settlements, parties still find themselves spending more time and money than they would like on settling their divorce.

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