Appealing a family arbitration award

You can appeal a family arbitration award (decision of the arbitrator) if you believe the arbitrator did not apply the law properly.  In most cases, if you want to appeal the arbitration award you must bring a motion in the Superior Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice Family Court Branch to first get permission (called “leave”) to appeal the award.

The Family Law Rules require that a motion for leave to appeal an arbitration award must be brought within 15 days of when the award was made.  If permission is granted, you must then file a Notice of Appeal within 7 days.

If you and the other party agreed before going to arbitration that either side could appeal the award without having to get the court’s permission to appeal, then you will not need to bring a motion for leave to appeal, and your Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the award.  The award must be appealed within 7 days if it is a temporary decision. You and the other party could also agree that an appeal can be brought because the arbitrator made factual errors.  Rule 38 of the Family Law Rules sets out the specific requirements for the documents that must be filed and the timelines that must be followed to appeal of a family arbitration award.

In addition, you or the other party can apply to set the award aside the award for other reasons.  For example you could apply to set aside where the arbitrator didn’t following the right procedures or didn’t give each person a chance to present their case.  A request to set aside must be started within 30 days of the award by filing Form 8: Application (General) with the court.  Section 46 of the Arbitration Act, 1991 and Rule 8 of the Family Law Rules apply to applications to set aside an arbitration award.