I Am So Angry With My Spouse!! How Can I Be Expected to Sit in the Same Room at a Settlement Conference?!?

Unless there is domestic violence present in the relationship, most courts at some point will require you to participate in either mediation or a settlement conference.  A settlement conference usually consists of you, your attorney and your spouse and his/her attorney sitting down at a table and trying to settle as many issues as possible by agreement rather than submitting them to a judge.  Obviously, the more you can settle at an informal meeting such as this, the less you will have to pay in attorney fees and other litigation expenses.

If you are still so angry with your spouse that you cannot have a rational conversation with him/her, it might be beneficial to postpone the settlement conference until you can meaningfully participate.  In the interim, you might seek counseling to deal with your feelings and emotions.  You will not be able to rationally assist your attorney in resolving your case if all you are out for is your pound of flesh.

If after a certain amount of time and/or counseling, you still cannot rationally deal with your spouse, you may want to consider shuttle negotiations.  This is similar to shuttle mediation, you simply cut the mediator out of the picture.  I have used this technique effectively in some cases.  Basically, the parties remain in separate rooms and one or both attorneys shuttle back and forth exchanging offers and trying to reach a settlement.  By removing the focus of a party's anger (i.e. the other party) it often helps get the person focused on actually settling the case and makes it easier to move forward.  If you have more questions on dealing with your spouse during settlement conferences, please contact the Alford Law Office.

Photo courtesy of Matt E

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