I provide services for my clients seeking to negotiate a Separation Agreement, whether the parties have lawyers or are self-represented. The objective in negotiating a separation agreement is to arrive at terms that will address the legal issues arising from the breakdown in the relationship. This process will involve retaining lawyers that will facilitate the negotiations and will provide independent legal advice to their respective clients.
After exchanging financial information, a four-way meeting may be held to narrow any unresolved issues. If successful, the parties will come away with a signed separation agreement that will be binding on both parties and will govern each party's rights and obligations on such issues as: parenting, child support, spousal support, division of property, responsibility for debts and divorce.
A "principled approach" to negotiation is preferential to positional bargaining. Principled negotiation focuses on interests, not positions. This approach to negotiation attempts to generate a variety of possible solutions rather than creating opposing positions on the issues. Not all family law lawyers are trained in principled negotiation. Prior to retaining a lawyer to assist with the negotiation of a separation agreement, people should be encouraged to find out if the lawyer has any formal training in principled negotiation. All collaborative lawyers have been trained in principled negotiation.