Mark Ashton, a partner in our Exton, Pennsylvania office, and a contributor the firm’s Pennsylvania Family Law blog, wrote an excellent post on that blog entitled "A Divorce Negotiation Primer".

There are several points I would like to highlight:

  • negotiations are confidential and cannot be introduced in court, except for very limited circumstances, but not as to the ultimate issue that is the subject of the negotiations.
  • negotiation is intended to narrow issues
  • at the time of trial, no one is bound by the positions taken during negotiations
  • a party who negotiates backwards (for example making a demand, then increasing the demand), risks losing credibility in the negotiations and also causes their attorney to lose credibility.
  • Put all issues on the table as early as possible so as not to spring new issues when settlement appears near and/or give a party false hope of settlement when the parties are not really all that close.

As usual, Mark’s advice is good advice.