Pursuing A Fair Settlement
Sometimes, pursuing a settlement to resolve a family law case may be the best option for everyone involved. Not every case is the same, and it can be hard to know what is a fair settlement in an individual case. Thankfully, you can get the help you need in your family law situation.
At Izzo & Associates, PLLC, we are here to help you secure the outcome you deserve. We often receive calls from well-meaning, very upset, or frightened prospective clients who tell us their story and ask, “Is settlement a good or bad idea for my case”? We always respond that settling any family law matter is a good idea unless serious conditions exist which are not conducive to a settlement.
The Initial Use Of Private Settlement Negotiations
We utilize a tried-and-true process to resolve each of our client’s cases as quickly and inexpensively as possible. So, when a prospective client, facing an adverse situation, informs us that they believe that they may have reached an agreement with another party, we review the facts of the case to determine if such an agreement will be legally binding and whether it is not contrary to our client’s interests. If so, we quickly draft an irrevocable settlement agreement for execution.
If our initial legal analysis determines that a client’s fact pattern indicates the likelihood of a less-than-welcome result in court, we may suggest that our client avoid the expense and risk of litigation and instead utilize mediation to break the log jam. Mediation is when a neutral third party works with us and the other side to settle a dispute.
General Mediation Services
We always attempt to utilize mediators who are experienced and adept at dovetailing client interests to reach fair and reasonable settlements. Most mediators will require that we either meet at their office or utilize video conferencing. We insist, for our clients, that “shuttle mediation” be utilized, whereby each party and his or her counsel (if applicable) are in separate rooms, virtual or otherwise. By doing this, clients can speak privately with their attorneys.
Most family law mediations in Texas are scheduled for either one half-day or a full day, depending on the number of issues at hand, as well as the perceived difficulty of successfully settling a particular case. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a written mediated settlement agreement (an “MSA”) while both parties wait. The parties and their attorneys will then review the agreement and execute it after any final changes or corrections are made. After a mediation, each party is generally responsible for paying half the mediator’s fee.
Preparing For Mediation
Our attorneys prepare each client’s specific case facts before their mediation. We will ask you for two main sets of written considerations before meditating. First, we will ask for your “Disneyland Ending” wish list (detailing what would occur if you were to be given all the things you would like as a result of your litigation), knowing full well, as reasonable adults, that we cannot get everything that we wish for. Next, we will ask for your “Bottom Line.” Here, we will need your assessment of your most important requests, in descending order, that you will require if mediation is to succeed.
Of course, well before mediation is ever scheduled, you, by the legal council at Izzo & Associates, PLLC, will become intimately appraised of all good, and especially negative, facts which could affect how a judge, under Texas law, would rule regarding your case.
Benefits To Mediation
Mediation offers many benefits for anyone involved in a complex legal matter. Some of the benefits include:
- Your attorney can schedule mediation around your schedule.
- You will have time to speak with your attorney and weigh your options as offers are exchanged back and forth since the mediator will need to take time in the opposing party’s room (virtual or real) in between sessions with you and your legal counsel.
- The advice from your neutral mediator can help you dovetail your hot-button issues around the opposing party’s issues or to split the difference fairly as a judge might do.
- If you are navigating a divorce or SAPCR with children, you and your future ex-partner can negotiate and settle issues such as child decision-making, time with each parent, child support, etc., rather than having a judge impose such matters on you. This can increase the effectiveness of future co-parenting in your children’s best interest
- Mediation is informal and less stressful than going to trial.
- You can decide whether to agree to a settlement or to reject one.
- Even when a case does not settle in mediation, both you and your attorney generally learn a great deal about the opposing party’s case facts, arguments, strengths, weaknesses, and hot-button issues, which can be invaluable in court, if necessary.
Our goal is to help you pursue the ideal outcome in your case in a quick and effective manner, and mediation may be the key to securing that outcome.
Explore All Resolution Options
Not every family law case needs to go to court, and we can help you take the path that is right for you. If you are ready to meet with us, call 512-982-1161 or email us here to schedule your initial consultation today.