The best result in any family law matter is a negotiated settlement. Divorce is a unique type of adversarial proceeding in that often the parties must deal with each other for many years following the dissolution of their marriage, especially if they have children. A negotiated settlement provides a foundation for the parties to move forward and interact in a mutually respectful manner. Schiller DuCanto & Fleck’s Chicago area divorce attorneys are experienced and skilled in achieving beneficial negotiated settlements while dealing with the emotions of the parties with understanding and empathy as they resolve issues involving children, complex property division, and support. Negotiated settlements also tend to be much more tailored to the needs of the particular parties and can and often do include provisions that are unlikely to be included by a judge after a trial.
There are many avenues and options for pursing a negotiated settlement, and those options are explored with the client to determine which is best suited to the particular case. These options may include four-way settlement meetings with the opposing party and attorney, exchange of written settlement proposals, and pre-trial settlement conferences with the judge assigned to the case, which can give both parties the opportunity to educate themselves regarding how a judge is likely to resolve their case if a trial is necessary. Another option is alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, in which a neutral Chicago mediator assists the parties and their family law attorneys in fashioning a settlement agreement.
A negotiated settlement is something that can be achieved at any stage in a case, provided that the parties have conducted sufficient due diligence to insure that they are fully informed of the assets and liabilities comprising both the marital and non-marital estates and have the information necessary to make informed decisions. Prior to any settlement negotiations, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck’s Chicago area divorce attorney will help a client assess what information and issues may need further discovery or research in order for the client to be well informed and protected during the negotiation process. Cases sometimes end with negotiated settlements early in the process, while other cases settle on the eve of trial. The Chicago litigation attorneys of Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP continue to pursue settlements throughout the pendency of a case.