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Negotiation is a conventional start to resolving most Family disagreements. Sometimes matters can be resolved by negotiation alone or sometimes negotiation precedes litigation.

Negotiation allows each party to retain his or her own solicitor who advises them during a process which involves exchanging information on a voluntary basis in an attempt to find a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.

How does it work?

Traditionally family lawyers are often engaged to assist in negotiating on your behalf with either your former partner or their lawyer to resolve your legal issues. This can be a very effective way of reaching an agreement. One of the difficulties with solicitor based negotiation is that you are often yourself removed from the negotiations. Further, this process can, at times, be quite lengthy. This is primarily because solicitor based negotiation will generally occur through email or letters between your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer. We encourage you to consider using solicitor based negotiation at the early stages of your legal process, but it is often more cost effective and timely to consider mediation or collaboration as alternate ways of resolving your disputes, rather than exchanging letters for a lengthy period.


An alternate form of solicitor assisted negotiation is what is termed a “round table conference”. This is in essence a meeting which is confidential between you, your spouse and your respective lawyers to discuss and try to resolve your legal issues. In our experience, round table conferences are one of the most effective ways of resolving legal issues. You don’t necessarily need to sit in the same room or even at the same table, but the presence of both you and your spouse in the same building at the same time can speed up discussions and negotiations and get to the heart of any disagreements very quickly. We strongly recommend that you consider a round table negotiation in preference to negotiation by way of correspondence. This does, however, require the participation of both you and your spouse and the agreement therefore of both your spouse and their lawyer.



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