There is a common belief that hiring a divorce lawyer increases your chances of going to trial. Actually, we believe just the opposite. We have seen many people representing themselves end up at trial because they did not know how to prepare for settlement discussions or how to negotiate effectively. At the same time, it is important to hire a lawyer who is interested in getting the case settled and not just taking it to trial.
Understand that one of the ways attorneys prepare a case for settlement is by doing good trial preparation. In a litigation context, when it comes time for negotiation, one things that helps get a good settlement is being able to demonstrate the strength of your case and why you feel a given outcome at trial is likely. The more you are able to convince the other attorney that you are likely to get what you are asking for, the better your odds of getting them to agree to something like it.
When it comes to negotiating, an experienced lawyer knows “when to hold em and when to fold em”. In other words, our experience with the courts in other cases we have done helps us understand better what the range of likely outcomes is in your case, and therefore where the strengths and weaknesses of your case are. With those in mind we can advise you whether a particular settlement offer is a good deal to take, or whether a counter offer would be more appropriate.
Of course if you would rather take a less adversarial approach and work out a settlement based on you and your spouses shared values rather than simply what a court would do, we offer both Mediation and Collaborative options to help the two of you work our your own settlements.