If you're going through a divorce, you'll need to deal with settlement negotiations. Most of the time, the attorneys will do the communicating. But, there will come a time when you and your spouse will need to meet together. That will be during the settlement conference, or four-way meeting. This is a time when you and your spouse will meet with both attorneys. If you're prepared, the meeting can be beneficial for you and your spouse. It can even be amicable. Here are four steps you can take to help avoid pitfalls during the settlement conference.
Talk to Your Attorney First
If you're scheduled for a divorce settlement conference, talk to your attorney first. You don't want to go into the conference before you have a chance to go over things with your attorney. The pre-conference meeting is the perfect time to talk about your goals for the meeting. This is also a good time to go over any sticking points you may have. Those are the issues that you don't want to negotiate on. Waiting until the meeting to bring those things up could derail the conference. Avoid that problem. Arrange a meeting with your attorney before the conference.
Control Your Emotions
Divorces are emotional events. But you don't want to bring those emotions into the settlement conference. It's natural to feel angry or hurt during a divorce. If you bring your emotions into the settlement conference, the meeting can fall apart. If that happens, you may end up with a drawn-out divorce settlement battle. Keep the meeting civil. Leave your emotions outside the conference room.
Try to See the Other Side
If you're working on a divorce settlement, you may want to get everything on your list. Your spouse is going into the settlement conference with the same expectations. Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen. However, it is possible to come out of the settlement talks satisfied with the results. The best way do that is to try and see the other side. That means trying to be empathetic with your spouse's concerns.
Follow Your Attorney's Lead
Now that you're preparing for your settlement conference, you want to avoid mistakes. Your spouse's attorney will pick up on any mistakes you make during the conference. Unfortunately, they'll use those mistakes against you. Luckily, your divorce attorney will be there to guide you through the process. Avoid the mistakes. Follow your divorce attorney's lead throughout the settlement conference.
Contact a divorce attorney to learn more.