Making It as Painless as Possible: Settling Out of Court

A legal case, whether it is a lawsuit or a divorce, can be very frustrating and expensive. Battling it out in court can also result in a lot of stress for you. So some lawyers often recommend trying to settle things out of court. It resolves things easily and even ensures a minimum of friction. This is a good thing for some cases like a divorce where emotions can get heated.   If you and your lawyer decide on settling things, here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t end up getting cheated:

Knowing Your Out-of-court Options

Before anything else, you need to talk with your lawyer about what options you have of handling your issues out-of-court. One of the things that they will tell you is that, in the U.S., 90 percent of lawsuits are settled out of court. That is despite all the years and months of preparation for a court case. If that is that is the inevitable result, it would be better to consider out-of-court options. Settlements are the most common offer for handling this but there are other options available. This is usually a negotiation between two parties.

Then there is arbitration, which has a third party deciding on how the case is to be handled. Both parties agree to follow the decisions of the third party. Another interesting option would be to ask for mediation. In this approach, while there is a third party involved, their job is not to decide on things. They facilitate it so that the two parties would have an agreement on what sort of settlement they can make.

Deciding On Settling

Knowing your options, you should also decide on whether to make a settlement or not. Your lawyer is your primary source of advice for this but the ultimate decision is you. Some lawyers might recommend fighting the case, primarily when they think the case is winnable in court. Others would recommend agreeing to an immediate settlement if they feel the case is weak.

As for your choice, there might be several other factors. For one, the stress of a lawsuit might not be good for your health. Trying to settle also reduces a lot of the expense of your case. It will be up to you to weigh the pros and cons of what to do.

Time The Settlement Right

There is also the decision of when to settle. Some lawyers advise offering a settlement immediately. This is before any complaints are filed or any legal proceedings. This lessens the legal hoops that the legal teams have to jump through. For divorces, this is a good move since it reduces a lot of the negative feelings. Other lawyers think that waiting for the other side to offer a settlement is a smarter option.

Additionally, this usually means some legal proceedings have started so the other side knows how strong your case is. If you are confident about your success, showing them a bit of what you have can help with the settlement.

lawyers having a conversation

Making Negotiations Easy

A settlement negotiation doesn’t need you to be there. You can be present to see some of it happening but it is better to have a professional do it. This is where lawyers come in. If anything, you should hire the right attorney to represent you. For example, lawyers who practice family law usually know how to do a settlement properly. It is an essential part of a lot of divorce proceedings so you can trust them to represent your interests properly.

Decide On The Details

As part of the settlement proceedings, you and your lawyer need to be clear with each other about what the goal of the settlement is. For example, you might want a specific amount. Your lawyer might advise you to consider a lower amount or adjust it to be a bit higher. Other stipulations might also be required. For some people, a court case is not all about money. It may mean a public apology or something similar. This is most notable in divorce cases. Besides the financial settlements, there are custody and parental rights to consider.

Document Everything

Settlements need to be properly documented. Your lawyer and you should review all the contracts and agreements made before signing off on them. Afterward, you should keep the settlement agreements, as well as the case information in a safe place so that you can refer to them if the other party breaks the agreement.

A settlement is supposed to end a legal battle before it even begins. This is a good choice if you want to get back to your life and minimize your expenses. The advice above should help ensure that you come out fine and have a settlement that meets your needs