If a couple opts for an attorney-negotiated settlement, each party hires an attorney to represent them.
The parties negotiate what they can, and the attorneys negotiate with each other on the outstanding issues to reach a settlement, contacting their 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
- Your attorney is present to advise you during every step of the negotiations.
- Clients who worry about standing up for themselves 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 influence 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.
Selecting the Best Divorce Process for You