Early Neutral Consultation – Kitchen Table Negotiation

(The following content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to create a lawyer/client relationship between the author and the reader)

  1. Become informed about your rights and obligations and what the law provides by having an initial consultation with a divorce attorney/family law lawyer.
  2. Recommend to your spouse that he also gets informed about his rights and obligations and what the law provides from a different divorce attorney/family law lawyer.
  3. As an alternative to 1 and 2 above, both parties could attend an Early Neutral Consultation together, which will provide them with the same information at the same time respecting the issues they will need to resolve.
  4. Sit down at the kitchen table with your spouse and negotiate directly with each other (provided you do not feel intimidated by your spouse).
  5. Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement in principle, you should each seek independent legal advice to ensure you understand fully what you have agreed to and how these terms fit in with what the law provides. If you are each prepared to finalize the agreement, either your lawyer or his lawyer will draw up a proper separation agreement to ensure that the terms can be relied upon and proper releases are incorporated.  If the other person’s lawyer prepared the agreement, your lawyer will review the agreement with you and provide you with independent legal advice before you sign the agreement.  It is not recommended that you or your spouse waive independent legal advice just to save on legal fees since this leaves the separation agreement open to being set aside.