What is a Negotiated Settlement?
A negotiated divorce settlement is an agreement crafted between the two parties with the assistance of their attorneys, and it is a very effective way to resolve a divorce. Negotiated divorce settlements appeal to couples who prefer to work directly with one another and avoid court intervention.
How Does a Negotiated Settlement Work?
Unlike divorce mediation, each party is represented by his or her own family law attorney and there’s no independent facilitator. A negotiated divorce settlement is also different from collaborative divorce in that it doesn’t require the input and counsel of collaboratively trained neutral professionals. However, for couples who want to negotiate directly with one another, this process can be very appealing. A couple often has a clear understanding of how the marital assets should be divided, how the parenting-time (or visitation) should be shared, and what the family support (either child support or alimony) should be.
Well-structured settlement negotiations between the parties can produce mutually beneficial agreements. In a negotiated divorce, the parties will either negotiate between themselves or through their divorce attorneys. One of the party’s divorce attorneys will craft a negotiated divorce settlement and present it to the other attorney. The attorneys will then negotiate with each other, under the direction of the clients, to reach a negotiated divorce settlement.
How Long Does it Take to Negotiate a Settlement?
Negotiated settlements are ideal for couples who are able to agree on the major issues in their divorce. Accordingly, negotiated settlements are best suited for amicable divorces and uncontested divorces.
Since the court isn’t called upon to resolve disputes between the parties, the cost of a negotiated settlement may be substantially less than a litigated divorce. Further, without the lengthy delays inherent in litigation, a negotiated settlement may allow a couple to reach a finalized divorce agreement in much less time.
Is a Negotiated Settlement Right for Me?
Is a negotiated divorce the right approach for you and your spouse? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you able to communicate civilly or even amicably with your spouse?
- Are you trying to reduce attorney fees and court costs as much as possible?
- Do you have time-sensitive plans, such as getting remarried, and don’t want to draw out divorce proceedings for longer than necessary?
- Do you value your privacy and don’t wish to have your divorce documented and made a public record as a litigated case?
Rely on Conniff & Keleher, LLC for Knowledgeable Representation
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, a negotiated divorce might be an option to consider. Contact our family law attorneys at Conniff & Keleher, LLC for expert legal guidance and to learn more about negotiated settlement vs. litigated divorce.