Avenues for Settlement in Divorce Actions

Last week, trials in divorce matters were considered. As so many cases conclude with settlement, rather than litigation, this week’s discussion turns to mechanisms for getting a joint resolution.


Settlement Negotiations

In a sense, human beings learn to negotiate their entire lives. Within a divorce context, parties often discuss terms of their case with one another. Depending on the level of acrimony, some spouses are able to negotiate and settle the terms of their cases with minimal attorney involvement.

However, attorneys are often needed when one there is a disparity of income between the parties, conflict between the parties, and other factors that may impede an equitable resolution.

Attorneys and clients can also attempt a negotiation in a divorce matter. Prior to both sides coming together, attorney and client discuss a proposed settlement and the steps to take in order to get there.

Like other skills, negotiation is a practiced application which requires give and take on both sides. It also calls for measured steps. By way of example, opening a discussion for negotiation may begin with an aspect not in dispute among the parties. By reaching common ground earlier on, the parties can then segue into areas of disagreement, as some level of cooperation has already been achieved.

The disadvantage of a negotiation is the difficulty to bind parties.  Conversely, if negotiations break down, the parties cannot be forced to settle.

Settlement through Mediation

Similar to negotiation, mediation is generally a voluntary process (though it can be court ordered). Parties cannot be forced to settle. A settlement can be reached when both parties mutually come to an agreement regarding all issues of the case. A third party neutral (known as a mediator) guides the parties through the various issues and tries to bring them together to settle the matter.

The mediator does not make decisions for either party and does not represent either spouse. Rather, he or she is skilled in negotiation and helps the parties determine the outcome of the case and aids in cooperation.

Findling will help you find what is right for you

Both negotiation and mediation are alternatives to trial. By far and large, family matters in Michigan settle rather than proceed to litigation. To understand more about theses process and whether such a course of action is right for you, talk to Findling Law. At Findling, we know how to navigate these alternatives and can help find a path that is right for you.

By: Kristina Bilowus

About Findling Law

Findling Law, PLC – 414 W. 5th St. Royal Oak, Michigan 48067

Phone:+1 (248) 399-3300
After hours emergency?+1 (707) 968-7347



I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

By:  Daniel Findling

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