Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Some Florida couples who are preparing to divorce may be interested in trying to resolve some of the issues amicably. In order to do that, spouses often agree to hold a settlement conference. A few helpful hints may be able to help people prepare for that meeting and have a more productive experience.

One of the most important things to do is to find a way to leave emotions out of the conference. A settlement conference is not about pointing blame or airing grievances against the other spouse. It is important to remain calm in order for the participants to discuss the divorce rationally. This makes it more likely that they will be able to resolve some or all of the issues facing them. In addition, a spouse who is completely unwilling to compromise may not get very far in settlement negotiations. Knowing in advance when a person might be willing to give something up in order to get an agreement on more important issues can help.

Another thing to know is that it is acceptable during a conference to ask questions when more information is needed. If one spouse needs time to process an offer or data that is provided, it is okay to ask to take a break and return to the conference table later. That way, neither spouse feels pressured into making a bad decision. It is also important to request a recess if a party is represented and does not understand something about the process. That way, the lawyer can help ensure that the person can make an informed deicsion.

Divorce can be an emotional and complicated process which the conference alternative may help. Some couples may need more than one meeting in order to be able to reach final resolution.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: How to Prepare for a Settlement Meeting", Caroline Choi, October 31, 2013

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