arbitration Rules & Forms

This page provides links to the current, complete draft of the Family Law Arbitration Rules of Procedure developed by John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers, including the forms the rules refer to and an overview for lawyers and for participants. These rules are being overhauled and will be replaced with a shorter and significantly simplified version in early 2019.

Click to download and save PDF files of:

· the complete rules and forms, including an introduction to the rules

· the rules only

· the forms only

Note that these rules are not used in:

  1. the abridged process used in arbitrations where the parties and their lawyers are prepared to submit a small number of legal issues for resolution by an oral decision, without reasons or a written award; or,

  2. the special inquisitorial process used when one or both parties are not represented by lawyers.

arbitration Rules Pick List

One of the most important benefits of arbitration is that the parties to a family law dispute are able to design the arbitration process to suit their issues, their needs and their finances. While litigation processes provide a one-size-fits-all service, almost every aspect of the arbitration process can be tailored to the specific needs of the specific people involved in a specific dispute, giving those individuals the opportunity to create a process that is genuinely proportionate to the complexity, importance and value of the issues in their dispute.

The following are the procedural elements that the parties to an arbitration can change to suit their circumstances. They cover most aspects of the arbitration process, including exchanging documents and information, deciding how evidence will be presented and the basis on which a party will be able appeal the arbitrator’s award. Use this list before the pre-arbitration conference to decide which procedural elements are important, which can be abbreviated and which are entirely unnecessary. Remember that the longer an arbitration takes to complete, the more money it will cost!

Click to download the pick list as a PDF file.

Choice of process

❑ We will attempt to reach a resolution of our dispute through mediation before moving to resolve our dispute through arbitration, and would like the arbitrator to:

❑ Conduct the mediation in an evaluative manner.

or

❑ Conduct the mediation in a strictly neutral manner, without providing an opinion of the merits of our respective cases or the likelihood of our respective success.

Exchanging and producing information before the hearing

❑ We will exchange the following information about our income:

❑ Part 1 (Income) of the Financial Statement.

❑ Our personal income tax returns, complete with all schedules and attachments, and notices of assessment for the last _____ tax years, plus the most recent statements of our income from all sources.

❑ The corporate income tax returns, complete with all schedules and attachments, notices of assessment and financial statements for all of our businesses and companies for the last _____ fiscal years, as well as:

❑ Statements breaking down all money paid or benefits provided by our businesses and companies to people with whom we do not deal at arm’s length.

❑ Statements breaking down all money paid or benefits provided to ourselves from our businesses and companies.

❑ Statements breaking down the income of our spouses or romantic partners for the last _____ tax years.

❑ ______________________

❑ We will exchange the following information about our expenses:

❑ Part 2 (Expenses) of the Financial Statement.

❑ Statements breaking down our average monthly living expenses.

❑ Statements breaking down the special and/or extraordinary expenses of the children.

❑ ______________________

❑ We will exchange the following information about our property:

❑ Part 3 (Assets) of the Financial Statement.

❑ Statements breaking down the fair market value of all real property, personal property, businesses, companies, savings, investments, pensions and other assets we each owned at:

❑ The date we began to live together.

❑ The date of our marriage.

❑ The date of our separation.

❑ The date which is two months before the date of the arbitration hearing.

❑ Tax assessments for ______________________

❑ Valuations or appraisals of ______________________

❑ ______________________

❑ We will exchange the following information about our debts:

❑ Part 4 (Liabilities) of the Financial Statement.

❑ Statements breaking down the mortgages, debts, loans, judgments and other actual or potential liabilities encumbering all real property, personal property, businesses, companies, savings, investments, pensions and other assets we each owned at:

❑ The date we began to live together.

❑ The date of our marriage.

❑ The date of our separation.

❑ The date which is two months before the date of the arbitration hearing.

❑ ______________________

❑ We will exchange Demands for Disclosure listing the documents and information we would each like to get from the other party.

❑ We will exchange Lists of Documents describing the documents in our possession or control relating to:

❑ All of the matters at issue in this arbitration.

or

❑ The children and their past and future parenting arrangements.

❑ Support and the children’s special and/or extraordinary expenses.

❑ The division of property and debt.

❑ ______________________

❑ We will consent to documents relating to the matters at issue being released to the other party by ______________________ , who are third-parties not involved in this arbitration.

❑ We will exchange Interrogatories listing the questions we would like the other party to answer before of the hearing, and the number of questions we can ask each other is:

❑ Unlimited.

or

❑ Limited to no more than _____ questions.

❑ We will each be questioned by the other party before the hearing, and the length of the questioning will be:

❑ Unlimited.

or

❑ Limited to no more than _____ hours.

Experts

❑ We will each be able to hire our own expert to prepare an opinion on:

❑ Any of the matters at issue in this arbitration.

or

❑ The children and their past and future parenting arrangements.

❑ The calculation of income, support and the children’s special and/or extraordinary expenses.

❑ The division of property and debt, including the division of pensions and tax issues relating to the division of property.

❑ ______________________

❑ We will each be entitled to hire a rebuttal expert to reply to the opinions of the other party’s expert, and the rebuttal expert:

❑ Will be allowed to interview, examine or test the people interviewed, examined or tested by the other party’s expert so that the expert may reach his or her own conclusions on the matters addressed by the other party’s expert.

or

❑ Will be limited to commenting on the methodology, analysis and conclusions of the other party’s expert.

❑ We will jointly hire an expert to prepare an opinion on:

❑ All of the matters at issue in this arbitration.

or

❑ The children and their past and future parenting arrangements.

❑ The calculation of income, support and the children’s special and/or extraordinary expenses.

❑ The division of property and debt, including the division of pensions and tax issues relating to the division of property.

❑ ______________________

❑ We agree that the arbitrator may hire experts to provide opinion evidence as the arbitrator may deem necessary in consultation with ourselves.

Hearing from the children

❑ We will obtain a views of the child report that:

❑ Is evaluative and will be prepared by a mental health professional.

or

❑ Is non-evaluative and may be prepared by a legal or mental health professional.

And the report will:

❑ Address the child’s general views about the child’s past and future parenting arrangements.

or

❑ Be limited to addressing ______________________

❑ We will obtain a parenting assessment from a mental health professional that:

❑ Addresses the future parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of the child.

or

❑ Addresses the future parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of the child, as well as ______________________

or

❑ Is limited to addressing ______________________

❑ We agree that the arbitrator will interview the child to get information about the child’s general views about his or her past and future parenting arrangements.

❑ We will retain a lawyer to separately represent the interests of our child, and the lawyer will:

❑ Act on the child’s instructions.

or

❑ Act on the lawyer’s views of the child’s best interests.

or

❑ Act on the child’s instructions and make submissions on the lawyer’s view of the child’s best interests.

Applications before the hearing

❑ Before the hearing begins, either of us may apply for:

❑ Interim awards relating to the matters at issue in this arbitration.

❑ Orders and directions on procedural matters, including the exchange of documents and information and the conduct of the hearing.

Preparing for the hearing

❑ We will work together to prepare an Agreed Statement of Facts before the date of the hearing.

❑ We will exchange statements summarizing the evidence we expect will be given by the witnesses we will each be calling to give oral evidence at least two weeks before the hearing.

❑ We will exchange Books of Authority at least two weeks before the hearing.

❑ We will exchange our written opening arguments before the date of the hearing.

The hearing

❑ We agree that we will not have an oral hearing and that the arbitrator will decide our dispute on the basis of:

❑ Written arguments.

❑ The written statements of ourselves and our witnesses.

❑ We agree to have an oral hearing.

❑ The oral hearing will be held:

❑ In person at ______________________

or

❑ By teleconference.

or

❑ By videoconference.

❑ We agree that people other than ourselves, our lawyers and the arbitrator may attend the hearing.

❑ We will make our opening arguments:

❑ In writing.

❑ Orally.

❑ We may each present the evidence of ourselves and:

❑ An unlimited number of other witnesses.

or

❑ No more than _____ other witnesses.

❑ The evidence of the witnesses we each present will consist of:

❑ The written statements of those witnesses.

❑ Our direct examination of those witnesses.

❑ Our direct examination of our witnesses will be:

❑ Limited to _____ minutes per witness.

or

❑ Limited to _____ minutes per witness, except for the direct examinations of ourselves.

❑ We will be entitled to cross-examine:

❑ All witnesses called by the other party to give oral evidence, including the other party.

or

❑ Only the other party and the witnesses who provided evidence for that party through written statements.

or

❑ Only the other party.

And our cross-examination of these witnesses will be:

❑ Limited to _____ minutes per witness.

or

❑ Limited to _____ minutes per witness, except for the cross-examinations of ourselves.

❑ We will provide our closing arguments:

❑ In writing.

❑ Orally.

After the hearing

❑ We agree that the arbitrator’s award will be limited to an oral award providing only summary reasons for the arbitrator’s decision.

❑ We agree that the arbitrator’s award will be in writing and will:

❑ Be limited to summary reasons for the arbitrator’s decision.

or

❑ Provide full reasons for the arbitrator’s decision.

❑ We agree that the arbitrator’s written award may be appealed to the court:

❑ On questions of law.

❑ On questions of fact.

As you go through this list of procedural options, try to keep your choice of process as simple and streamlined as possible. This can mean making some difficult decisions, like agreeing to present only three witnesses instead of ten, agreeing to limit the length of time for the cross-examination of witnesses instead of exploring every nook and cranny available, or agreeing that some or all witnesses will provide their main evidence in writing instead of through oral testimony. John-Paul Boyd will help you finalize these choices at the pre-arbitration conference.

Do your best to think outside the box and challenge your assumptions about the kind of process you need. Remember that a successful arbitration can consist of nothing more than oral argument over the telephone, it can be an in-person hearing that includes all of the processes and procedures available in court, or it can be something in between these extremes. In general, most people who are planning an arbitration should try to balance speed and efficiency and the complexity, importance and value of the issues in their dispute.