Arbitration by agreement was once a reasonably discrete practice, mostly confined to business transactions, maritime law issues, construction contracts, agreements among professionals, labor disputes, international commercial matters, and the like. The idea of using arbitration in fields like family law was in force only recently.The prevalence of family law arbitration has changed dramatically in the past decade in U.S. Factors that may have influenced the rise of arbitration by agreement include the popularity of ADR and civil litigation's increasing cost, complexity and delay etc. In some jurisdictions disputants have tried to use the Uniform Arbitration Act to resolve marital disputes. Some courts have declared that some issues, e.g., child support or child custody, may not be arbitrated as matters of public policy, but others have different views. Arbitral awards are final under the Act and similar legislation; these issues must always remain open to protect the best interests of the child, according to courts refusing to allow arbitration on child support, child custody or other related issues.Even though there are some differences between legal structures of Korean family law and that of U.S., two countries are simultaneously confronted such the same problems to harmonize of arbitral awards and the best interests of children. Therefore the developments and theories of family law arbitration in U.S. are worth reviewing for Korean practitioners.
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