Gene B. Tarr


The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently decided that the Uniform Arbitration Acts controls the modification of an arbitrator's award of spousal support. In Crutchley v. Crutchley, the Court held that a judicially confirmed award of spousal support could not be modified by a motion in the cause. The Court's message is clear - if parties choose to arbitrate spousal support, the validity and effect of the agreement and the arbitrator's award are measured against the criteria of the Uniform Arbitration Act. On appeal, the practical question before the North Carolina Supreme Court is whether parties in a domestic dispute can agree to let someone other than a judge determine issues traditionally reserved for the courts, spousal support and child support, and to what extent the courts are bound by that agreement and the subsequent award.



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