As a family law attorney, I represent clients both in and out of court. While it may seem counterintuitive, I recommend that clients try to mediate and settle cases whenever possible. An attorney can help protect the client's rights throughout the entire process. However, mediating and negotiating things outside of the courtroom is the only way to guarantee the results, making it a wise option to consider.
Compromise Is a Reality of Divorce
Divorces are incredibly stressful with high levels of emotions on all sides. Both parties want to fight for every inch of ground and not give up on anything. However, there is a problem with this mindset. A judge has no emotional ties to the case and is going to look for an arrangement that is reasonably fair for everyone.
This means that regardless of whether both parties want to compromise or not, a judge is going to force some type of resolution. Typically, in a divorce trial, no one leaves completely happy and one party may be significantly more favored than another.
There are risks involved with going to trial:
A judge may issue a ruling that seems unfair or burdensome
Going to trial can negatively impact children
A trial can be mentally, emotionally, and financially draining
The Negotiations Process
First, it is important to understand that settling a divorce outside of court is much better with the help of a family law attorney. Any agreements that people reach during settlement negotiations need to be formalized and a document filed with the court. They also need to be in accordance with state law and need to protect a person's legal parental rights.
If a family attorney is not involved in this process, there is a good chance that the document will create further complications and legal problems down the road. However, this can be avoided when both parties are represented by legal counsel and legal counsel is involved in all steps of the negotiation process. Having an attorney handle negotiations is also wise because it allows for someone who is not emotionally involved to take the lead in the process.
In some cases, both parties are represented by an attorney and there is also a third mediator that serves as an intermediary between everyone. The mediator coordinates the negotiations and can often help both parties to compromise in order to reach a resolution. Negotiations can be completed by documents going back and forth in writing, between attorneys through email, or negotiations can take place in person. The choice is ultimately that of the parties getting divorced.
Benefits of Settling Outside of Court
The biggest benefit of settling outside of court is control. When going to trial, there is no control over what a judge will decide. During negotiations, each party can decide on what they are willing to compromise on and where they remain firm.
Discover the Benefits of Negotiations
To discuss how negotiations work in a divorce case, call my office and schedule an appointment. As an experienced family law attorney, I can answer questions and help to guide you through the process of getting a divorce.