Preparing For Your 4-Way Divorce Settlement Conference

Some clients are looking forward to the 4-way divorce settlement conference while others can't stand the thought of being in the same room as their ex-to-be or the attorney of their soon to be ex. The truth is that the 4-way meeting with both lawyers and clients can be very productive if all of people there want to make it productive.

Clients and attorneys who discuss the real issues and are prepared can often settle cases in concept (which means that a written agreement still has to be prepared) or they can make progress to determining the real issues and discussing financial matters as well as all problems related to custody, child support and spousal support. Equitable distribution will be discussed and each party can express what assets they wish to keep or how to divide them. Parenting schedules can be worked on as well as payment of attorney's fees.

There are just a few basic, but not always easily obtained, steps to having a productive four way.

1. Leave the anger outside the room. As soon as accusations fly the meeting breaks down.

2. Meet with your attorney before the 4-way to discuss your concerns and your bargaining position.

3. Listen to what is said at the meeting and do not talk over each other. Often people are agreeing but the other person is so worked up they don't hear that the issue is resolved.

4. Bring any necessary financial documents that still need to be exchanged or that have recently come-up.

5. Think positively.

6. Be respectful of the attorneys, they are doing their job and do not hate you. Don't make it personal with the attorney by leveling false accusations at the lawyer.