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Abstract

Arbitration, a widely utilized method for resolving commercial and labor disagreements, has become an increasingly accepted means of settling domestic disputes that arise under separation or divorce agreements. The number of judicial decisions reviewing clauses in divorce and separation agreements which provide for the arbitration of disputes involving spousal support payments, child support and custody matters, has more than doubled since 1950. In a number of jurisdictions, courts have consistently enforced arbitration clauses to settle matrimonial disputes. Attorneys are more frequently drafting separation agreements which contain arbitration clauses, and the American Arbitration Association has promulgated a variety of rules and procedures specifically designed to deal with such agreements. However, Virginia courts have yet to decide whether arbitration clauses in separation agreements are judicially enforceable under the Virginia arbitration statutes.

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