Working it out between lawyers outside of court
A negotiated settlement involves discussions and correspondence between the lawyers representing you and your spouse or in meetings where you and your spouse are present along with your lawyers (called four-way meetings). Using this process for your divorce or separation, you can keep the matter outside of the court process or at least minimize court involvement if a court application has been filed.
Negotiated settlements are an alternative under the following conditions:
- You or your spouse does not agree to use collaborative law or mediation
- One of you has already retained a lawyer, and they are not certified in collaborative law
- You or your spouse has already filed a court application
If you and your partner settle all matters through negotiation, one of your lawyers will draft an agreement for you both to sign or, if applicable, a court order for the judge to sign. If there is a court application, the claims can be dismissed or withdrawn once you have resolved all your matters through negotiated agreement.
A negotiated settlement requires that both you and your partner are willing to consider options and desire to minimize costs and resolve your matter efficiently.