The reality is that most family law cases should and do ultimately settle. The key is that you have an open mind when going into a divorce, and a reality check wouldn’t hurt either. You can’t go into your divorce assuming that an absurd offer will lead to a reasonable settlement. This often can be counterproductive in the settlement process, and it can spiral the parties further apart in their negotiations. It can create questions as to whether the parties’ lawyers even comprehend the basic concept of negotiated settlements and what they can reasonably do to reach one. But the key lies with the party and his or her reasonableness in understanding the nature of today’s economic and legal conditions.
The first thing to understand about settling your divorce case is this: any offer made has to be within the range of possible outcomes that would result if everyone went to court on the matter. This is where it is important to have a seasoned family law attorney representing you. Again, the key question is whether the terms offered are within the reasonable bounds of results that could be expected in a family law courtroom.
Making or evaluating settlement offers requires great objectivity on both the clients’ and their attorneys’ parts. They both must understand how to analyze the facts of their case against the applicable law. Evaluating one’s position cannot be done through wishful thinking. Parties cannot act as if unpleasant realities or negative considerations just don’t exist. They must keep an eye on what is legally and economically realistic in today’s unstable climate. The alternative is an expensive and disheartening experience through the courtroom process.