I seem to be regularly involved in negotiations and legal interaction relating to the preparation of property settlements in respect of marraige breakdowns.
This has been particularly so in the past three months.
Two recent cases spring to mind with two entirely different outcomes - one great and the other disintegrating into a long drawn out, bitter dispute. Fortunately, I was actively involved in the first case. The second is being run by the legal fraternity, with friction between the parties escalating!
I thought it might be a good thing to list those things that would lead to a disaster, based on these two cases and others I have endured over the years.
- If you hate each others guts, you are looking at a disaster
- Failure to agree to big picture goals at the outset (if you are not talking, this will be difficult). In the case of the good result achieved, certain goals were agreed to up front which could be referred to during the negotiations and challenging times.
- Seeking revenge - if one partner is agrieved by the circumstances surrounding the breakdown and seeks revenge at whatever cost, disaster looms
- Thinking that fair means equal. In many cases fair will be anything but equal
- Having the wrong legal advisors. Many legal advisers want to drag proceedings out - not necessarily with their client's best interests as heart. I have seen absolutely ridiculous requests by legal representatives which do not add value to the negotiations but come at considerable cost to the parties
- Not being prepared to concede something to draw a conclusion to the negotiations, even though you might rightly be entitled to it. Remember, time is money - your money - particularly when you are paying barristers
- Not being honest and transparent with each other. In many cases, trust between the parties can be low so any indications of dishonesty will inflame the situation.
What has been your experience?