When clients come to visit me and ask whether their case can be settled, the answer is always “It depends…” Depends on what? Well, it depends on a lot of things, but to name a few:
- You. It depends on your position that you take in the case. If you want to settle the case, then the best thing that you can do is manage your expectations. If you have unrealistic expectations, then it is unlikely that they will be met by your ex, which makes a settlement highly unlikely.
- Your ex. Just like you, your ex also has to have reasonable expectations for a settlement. Also, sometimes (especially if your ex is unhappy about the divorce) the other party can force the case to be litigated in order to punish you.
- The attorneys involved. It is an unfortunate reality that there are some attorneys who do not actively pursue settlement of cases. If reaching an out of court settlement is a goal, everyone must make sure the attorney who is hired will devote their efforts to settling the case.
- Third parties. Whether it is a new partner, parents or even the children, other people’s opinions can pressure people going through a divorce to pursue
Even if your case appears to be one that is unlikely to settle, it is always a good idea to try. First, if it can settle, it will save you the stress, time and money that litigating a case can cost. Additionally, if nothing else, conducting settlement negotiations can give you insight into your spouse’s position, which (if nothing else) can help you be better prepared to put the case in front of the Judge.
In my firm, I pride myself on always pursuing a settlement before going to court. Additionally, I will provide you with realistic expectations of what your entitlements are so we can make your case as likely to settle as possible.
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