Most settlements are reached through traditional negotiations between the parties’ lawyers.
Most settlements are reached through traditional negotiations between the parties’ lawyers. Typically, the lawyers exchange financial information and then exchange letters outlining each party’s position. From there the lawyers negotiate, working towards a final settlement that is then incorporated into a separation agreement.
Often we have settlement meetings with both lawyers and the parties together either in person or by zoom.
This method works very well and can often look like a collaborative settlement, with the parties and their lawyers meeting to discuss issues.
The focus of my mediation practice is on interest-based problem-solving. The goal is to arrive at a custom-made solution that works well for both parties. My role as mediator is to work as a neutral third party to help to separate couples negotiate a settlement.
I am what is known as an evaluative mediator, I will let parties know what the law is on certain issues or tell them how I think a judge might decide an issue. Each party will need their own lawyer to provide them with independent legal advice before an agreement is signed.
In Collaborative Family Law each spouse has his or her own collaboratively trained lawyer and all negotiations are conducted by way of settlement meetings with the parties and their lawyers present.
There is a written commitment to negotiate in good faith. In some cases we employ a team approach and may involve collaboratively trained financial professionals and family professionals. In the event one or both spouses ultimately wish to go to Court, both spouses must retain new lawyers.