What is a Divorce settlement conference and is that better than going to trial?
During a divorce, there are generally many decisions that need to be made when distancing the two parties from the marriage. These decisions may include, child custody, division of property, finances, debts, and how to handle other assets. In order to achieve an outcome that is in each party’s best interest, it is advised that each spouse enlists an attorney to help facilitate these discussions.
After enlisting an attorney and discussing their needs/wants, most couples attempt to avoid going to trial by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement during a settlement conference. A settlement conference is essentially a meeting between each spouse, their attorneys, and in some cases a mediator. The goal of the meeting is to find a resolution for the various decisions that both parties can agree to. A settlement conference can take place in one day with an agenda set for discussing all necessary decisions at hand, or it can be broken into multiple sessions that each focus on one topic. In any case, committing to a settlement conference is the only way for either side to guarantee they come out with a decision that they are at least content with.
Settlement Conference vs. Trial
If a couple simply cannot agree on some or all terms of their divorce, they’ll ultimately pass their decision-making power over to the court. This circumstance is much less common, and is generally reserved for couples who simply refuse to compromise. At the trial, each side’s attorney will present their case in hopes that the ruling will be favorable. Because the couple no longer has the ability to negotiate once the ruling has been made, one side or the other may come out of a trial unhappy. This is the risk that is taken when a couple resorts to a trial. In the case of a successful settlement conference, the attorneys simply present the agreed upon terms to the judge for approval, and the divorce becomes final exactly as it was agreed upon.
Typically, the longer the marriage, the more joint assets, and ultimately, the longer the settlement conference. Enlisting an experienced divorce attorney can be crucial in making a settlement that you are the most comfortable with in the most efficient and peaceful way possible. To set up a meeting to discuss your impending divorce, contact our office at (702) 998-1188 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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