When couples are going through a divorce, the last place they want to be is in a conference room, sitting face-to-face with their spouse and their lawyer, and trying to overcome their personal issues. This can be intimidating especially for people who have been victims of harassment, domestic violence, and threats.
What is a Four-Way Meeting?
A four-way meeting is one of the essential components of a collaborative divorce. This meeting takes place when both the spouses and their lawyers sit together with neutral experts to reach a resolution to settle the issues of their divorce. In many states, this session is ordered by the judge in the attempt to resolve the case outside the court. However, such a meeting can become the cause of anxiety and stress for the divorcing couple.
But there are several ways you can effectively handle this meeting and reach down to a meaningful solution that is fair for both parties.
Make Sure You and Your Lawyer are on the Same Page
Prior to the four-way meeting, it is indispensable that you speak with your divorce attorney and ensure that both of you are on the same page. Your lawyer should walk you through the entire process of the meeting and what will and can happen. You must discuss beforehand where there is room for negotiation and the terms and conditions that can be made flexible from your side. In addition, let your lawyer know about the areas where your spouse will most likely be flexible and on which topics they will completely refrain from negotiating.
Make sure that your attorney has all the information which you may think that your spouse doesn’t know about, like an additional source of income or an undisclosed bank account. This will allow the attorney to plan ahead if the opposing party accuses you of hiding such information during the meeting.
Lastly and most importantly, communicate to your lawyer what you want to accomplish and how actively you will participate in the discussion. Moreover, let them know about the issues where you want them to be aggressive.
Avoid Saying Unnecessary Things
A four-way meeting can easily turn into a heated argument, which can lead to saying things that can compromise your position in the case. You should keep your cool throughout the meeting and only say or do effective things that will help you move towards your goals and interests. It is best that you let your lawyer do the talking; unless you have something to say that can be helpful in achieving your goals.
Carefully Listen to what your Spouse is Saying
While you may be focused on getting what you want, paying close attention to what the other party is saying can be really helpful in settling the issues. By doing so, you may be able to find a few points where both of you can agree, which can be really useful in resolving big issues.
A four-way meeting is a great opportunity for you and your spouse to think of creative solutions that create a win-win situation for all parties involved, including your children. If you are looking for an experienced Naperville divorce attorney, contact the Fitzgerald Law Firm, P.C. to schedule a free consultation today.