Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 20, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
THIS review covers decisions in civil, commercial and labor-management cases, arranged under six headings: I. The Arbitration Clause, II. The Arbitrable Issue, III. The Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements, IV. The Arbitrator, V. The Proceedings, VI. The Award.
I. THE ARBITRATION CLAUSE AGREEMENTS BETWEEN SPOUSES FOR ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES AS TO MATTERS INCIDENTAL TO CUSTODY AND VISITATION RIGHTS ARE VALID. In restating the rule and not staying the arbitration, the court declared: "Courts will, a' a general rule, enforce an agreement between a husband and wife regardii^; custody of children so long as the agreement is in the best interests and welfare of the children. . . . Necessarily, an award rendered upon a voluntary' submission of any such disputes to arbitration would still be subject, in a direct proceeding affecting the child alone, to the supervisory power of the court in its capacity as parens patriae to the child." However, an award cannot be effectively attacked by the dissatisfied parent merely because it affects the child. It must affect the child adversely. Here the separation agreement provided that the matters of importance relating to the children's health, welfare and education, and encouragement of respect and love for both parents should be submitted to arbitration. In his demand for arbitration the husband claimed money damages to be set off against his obligation to pay alimony for violation of the agreement, with respect to the education of the children and alienation of their affection. Said the court: "While we hold that the demands for arbitration before us do not fall within the scope of the arbitration provision—broad as it is—we do not want to foreclose the parties from seeking arbitration upon proper demands consistent with this opinion."
Sheets v. Sheets, 22 App. Div.2d 176 (App. Div., First Dep't, Valente, J.).