We have heard over and over that settlement ranks high in the public policy of this state and know from experience how the system is geared toward settlement.  In particular, there is mandatory custody mediation, mandatory Early Settlement Panels (MESP), mandatory economic mediation, Blue Ribbon Settlement Panels, intensive settlement conferences (ISPs or ISCs depending on

Very often, Judges will appoint their own expert to assist with their resolution of the case.  Some times, a Judge will appoint their own experts right from the get go.  In a recent case, a judge appointed a custody, business valuation and employability expert at the first motion, even though the parties planned on getting

This is my final offer!!!  Don’t you just love the ultimatum, the line in the sand, the threat of Armageddon if capitulation is not immediately at hand?  I sure do.  Is it because I love to go to trial?  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy trial but that is not the reason. 

Seldom does it mean

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?


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All too often one spouse will pressure the other to settle an ongoing case, using finances, custody, or some other issue to force an inequitable end to a matter.  This comes up all the time, yet the pressured spouse frequently doesn’t realize that it is happening, whether it is because she trusts her soon to

I had a case recently where we had a conference call with the judge during which time, a discrete issue holding up resolution of a larger issue was discussed.  The judge made a suggestion which I took down verbatim and drafted language which I thought would resolve the issue. The problem, the judge’s suggestion was contrary to