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Negotiation: Let Experienced Counsel Speak for You

If a couple opts for an attorney-negotiated settlement, each party hires an attorney to represent them.

The assumption, often, is that the issues are such that litigation is a very real possibility. Most tough cases still end up being resolved without a trial through effective negotiations. Careful pretrial discovery and preparation under the rules of court procedure is required.

The parties negotiate what they can, and the attorneys negotiate with each other on the outstanding issues to reach a settlement. They contact their clients as necessary. Sometimes, four-way meetings are held.

With attorney-negotiated settlements, the Friend of the Court often interviews each spouse and the children, and may hold a hearing. Sometimes, an expert is called in to perform a custody evaluation.


Advantages of negotiation

  • The attorney is present to advise you during every step of the negotiations.
  • Clients who worry about standing up for themselves can have attorneys speak for them.
  • It may achieve a resolution in situations where direct or neutral supervised communication is ineffective or unsafe.

Disadvantages of negotiation

  • Legal fees are higher than self-negotiated or mediated cases.
  • Attorneys may color the negotiations with their perspectives. Clients must listen carefully to assure that the attorney is accurately stating their positions.
  • Clients are often less involved and may not feel ownership of the settlement.

Our Family Mediation & Collaborative Practice Center is now operating in Ann Arbor. Click to learn more about the mediation and collaborative divorce services being offered.

FM&CPC Home Page


"[You reminded me] that the children are the most important thing to consider when working through the divorce and for the future. I felt you represent [...] " Anonymous

"Thanks again for all your hard work. I know I’ve said this before, but I want you to know I’m glad you are my attorney. " Husband, Ypsilanti

"Thank you for making this terrible time the best it could be. How you handle yourselves at such stressful times is remarkable. " Mother of 1, Ann Arbor

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