Following up on my most recent blog post discussing pressure tactics used by one spouse against the other to force an inequitable settlement, I wanted to focus on the example where one spouse tries to “get around” the lawyers to privately discuss settlement with the other spouse. In my prior entry, I noted that a financially superior spouse will often take this tack to impose his desired terms of settlement upon the other spouse. The day after the Court enters a Judgment of Divorce ending the marriage, the financially inferior spouse wakes up and regrets the deal she just made.
While I am not generally against the notion of spouses talking to each other in an effort to resolve their matter, the involvement of lawyers is key for conveying notions of what is fair or unfair. Here are a few questions that come to mind:
1. How do you know whether the alimony and child support are fair?
2. How do you know whether the equitable distribution is fair?
3. How do you know what is an appropriate custody and parenting time arrangement?
4. How do you know what you are entitled to under the law as a spouse, parent and litigant?