Has your divorce been pending for months and you are ready to settle your case? Consider the following tips before you sit down at the conference table with your spouse and the attorneys, although in today’s world, you will likely conduct the meeting over Zoom.
- Be prepared. Identify the issues that need to be addressed beforehand. Organize your positions in a way that you can get to them easily during the meeting. Making an outline and dividing the issues into two main categories financial and non-financial with sub-sections for each can be very helpful.
- Stay calm. Sitting in the same room as your soon to be ex-spouse (or seeing him/her over video) after a long separation can be nerve-racking. Remember, you are getting a divorce for a reason and it should be no surprise that you and your spouse do not see things eye-to-eye. Some things are better not said. Leave the past behind you, especially if you are trying to settle your case.
- Be open-minded. Be ready to discuss alternate settlement proposals because you may agree to some of the terms but not others. For example, if the distribution of the marital home is an issue, consider options. Do you want to sell the home? Purchase your spouse’s interest? Have your interest purchased by your spouse? If you are discussing parenting time plans, consider alternate schedules and pre-rank your choices.
- Be patient. You may not be able to settle your case in one day. Many times, the first meeting is used to identify the open issues. You may have to exchange several different proposals before you reach a final agreement. Having multiple meetings also gives you a chance to review, reassess and strategize for future settlement discussions.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions but be mindful that it is impossible to predict all of the “what if” scenarios.
Expect the worse and hope for the best. Deciding the future for you and your family may be better than leaving the decision to a family law judge.
The family law attorneys at Cohn Lifland have substantial knowledge and experience in settling divorce cases. If you have any questions regarding the divorce process, contact the family law attorneys at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf, LLP.