Arbitration deals primarily with the resolution of substantive issues. Arbitrators act as judges, and their decisions are legally binding. Going directly to arbitration without attempting mediation is usually not advisable, unless there are no personal issues to be resolved and there is no need for reconciliation between the parties.
If a mediation is unsuccessful, the parties may decide to quit the process, or they may agree to submit unresolved issues to arbitration. In this case, the parties shall sign an agreement which gives the arbitrator the authority to make a binding decision on the issues to be resolved.
The arbitration process is sometimes more formal than conflict coaching or mediation, and arbitration does not allow for negotiations between the people in conflict. In fact, it is often used because the people have failed to come to an agreement on their own. When this is the case, arbitration allows people to still be obedient to the admonition of
1 Corinthians 6:1-8, which calls Christians to not take fellow believers to the secular courts.
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