Divorce Negotiation Rule Nine - Never Get Angry at a Settlement Proposal
If a settlement proposal comes in writing, we, of course, immediately send it to our client. It is not unusual that our client calls us after reading it, livid with anger at how outrageous the proposal is and how far from what the client perceives as fair.
True, some proposals are so low or so high as to be insulting. Some lawyers ask for the stars hoping to get the moon. Others misinterpret the parameters of a reasonable settlement. Whichever is true, at least there is an attempt at settlement. Rather than get angry, if the proposal is in the stars, then start subterranean (or whatever is the opposite of the stars!). If the proposal is unreasonable due to a misunderstanding of reality, then educate the other side. But never get angry any proposal, even a bad one, is better than no proposal at all.
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GOOD FAITH – Negotiation between spouses works when both act in good faith. A negotiated settlement dovetails easily in an uncontested divorce. Meeting in a neutral place, the spouses talk face to face and often offer tradeoffs of interests that they might otherwise claim. In this routine, their lawyers retreat to the role of advisors who keep their clients on track, moving toward a fair and reasonable settlement.
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Basic Principles of Law for Construing Separation Agreements
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