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The Divorce Process Negotiation
Rik Lovett & Associates
What To Expect
• Party to party
• Attorney to Attorney (both sides represented by counsel)
• Party to Attorney (only one side represented by counsel)
• Weeks to 1 month+
• Case can be settled within the first month
• Most cost efficient
• Settlement terms are confidential
• Negotiation can drag on or grow stale
• Other party has no obligation to settle
• Best settlement result sometimes not offered early
Negotiation is the quickest, simplest, least expensive way to resolve a domestic / divorce action. In this scenario, we have the client complete our Separation Agreement / Property Division questionnaire. We take this information and draft the first draft of a Separation Agreement / Property Settlement. The client reviews this document. Rik reviews this document. We make certain that we are all on the same page.
We then submit this first draft to the opposing party with a cover letter, letting them know that we desire to settle the case amicably and inviting them to get back to us with a response to this first draft.
First drafts of Separation Agreements are rarely signed. Typically the opposing party meets with his or her attorney, confers about the subject matter, and gets back with us with a letter agreeing to some parts of the Separation Agreement and disagreeing with others. We then analyze their response (or “counteroffer”) and get back with them with our thoughts / ideas on this (i.e. that with which we agree and that with which we do not agree).
The parties go back and forth like this until they reach an agreement on all issues. The final draft of the Separation Agreement / Property Settlement is then executed (both parties sign and have their signatures notarized). Both attorneys keep an original and the parties both get an original.
Only about 30% of domestic cases settle in this fashion. If it works, it is good for the clients in that they save a lot of money. The down side, of course, is that you don’t want to have to compromise too much to reach an agreement or you, the client, feel slighted / cheated. You don’t want to enter into a final agreement that is not at least fair and equitable.
Sometimes, if the clients are close with their offers, they can meet at dinner and resolve the matter between themselves and the attorneys can draft the final contested provisions (and the Separation Agreement is ready for signature).
One down side to continuing to try to enter into a Separation Agreement / Property Division is that, if the deal is not done after a certain amount of time (several months), the frustration level grows quite high. It must be kept in mind that only about 30% of clients resolve their domestic / family law case by just going “back and forth” in this manner. If they become stuck (doing it this way), they need to move on to alternatives 2 and 3.
Rik and his attorneys have studied and applied N.C. family law. They can quickly determine where a Judge is likely to decide your case (if tried) and can then give you the protection you need. If your spouse is not inclined to do the right thing in an out-of-court or negotiated settlement, Rik and his team won’t hesitate to fight for you.
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