Settlement negotiations entail correspondence between the parties, or their counsel, that begins with discussing each issue and leads to various proposals or offers, and counter-offers, from each party with a view towards resolving matters by way of a settlement agreement.
The goal is for each party to propose an outcome or solution that both parties could reasonably live with and then put pen to paper to consolidate their agreement. The agreement would then usually take the form of the often referred to Separation Agreement, or a Consent Order to be filed in court if a court file is already open for the matter. A key note is that settlement often represents a compromise, so each party usually has to demonstrate a degree of flexibility in order to arrive at a resolution that both parties can walk away with.
The idea here is that it is better to have control over the outcome instead of handing your personal family matter to a Judge to decide, and moreover, the huge cost savings from avoiding formal litigation typically makes up for any financial compromise that may have resulted in (for example – if we were dealing with a property matter or arrears) a lesser payout than you were originally expecting.
Negotiations can also be conducted through the collaborative family law process. If you would like more information on this process, please visit: https://collaborativepractice.ca/
Jenna Walsh is an Associate Lawyer at Rowanoak Law Office LLP.