Our Process

The SHAW DR Family Law Arbitration process is this:

Filing and Initiation 

An Arbitration case begins when one party submits a Request for Arbitration to SHAW DR.

The other party (the respondent) is notified by the Dispute Resolution Co-ordinator at SHAW DR and a deadline is set for response.

Arbitrator Selection

SHAW DR works with the parties to identify and select an Arbitrator based on the criteria determined by the parties.

Preliminary Hearing 

The Arbitrator conducts a preliminary hearing with the parties and their lawyers, to discuss the issues in the case and procedural matters, such as witnesses, evidence, sharing information and other matters including the timing and total cost of the Arbitration.  

An Agreement to Arbitrate is signed to confirm everyone’s commitment to the process.

Information Exchange and Preparation 

The lawyers and their clients then prepare for hearing and exchange information and documentation as discussed and agreed or ordered at the preliminary hearing.


At the hearing before the Arbitrator, both parties may present evidence to the Arbitrator as agreed. Unless the case is complex and there are more than the 2 parties as witnesses, this is the only hearing before the Arbitrator.  Following the evidence the lawyers make final submissions and answer questions from the Arbitrator.

Post-Hearing Submissions 

After the hearing, both parties may present additional documentation, as allowed by the Arbitrator.

The Award 

Finally, the Arbitrator closes the record on the case, writes a decision and publishes the award within 28 days.

At SHAW Arbitration, the entire Arbitration process can take between three weeks to six months, depending on the status of the evidence and the number of parties involved in the conflict. In the end, we want you to feel relieved that the process has been fair and an independent and considered decision made to end the dispute once and for all.

Let’s Decide!