What pre­vents peo­ple from being able to reach an out of court settlement?

In Brief — Why are peo­ple unable to reach an out of court settlement?

The two main rea­sons why sep­a­rat­ing cou­ples are unable to reach an out of court set­tle­ment are unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions and deci­sion mak­ing being cloud­ed by emotions.

Unre­al­is­tic expectations

When one par­ty has unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions about their enti­tle­ments, respon­si­bil­i­ties and oblig­a­tions it is very hard to reach an ami­ca­ble set­tle­ment. These kinds of unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions are usu­al­ly based on myths and advice from friends. It is rec­om­mend­ed that each par­ty receive inde­pen­dent legal advice from a fam­i­ly law spe­cial­ist and that each par­ty lis­ten to the advice being giv­en to them by such a spe­cial­ist. Fam­i­ly law spe­cial­ists pro­vide clear and thor­ough advice. They are experts in advis­ing par­ties on what their enti­tle­ments under the Fam­i­ly Law Act are and can ulti­mate­ly help par­ties reach an ami­ca­ble set­tle­ment faster with­out the need for court action.

Emo­tion­al deci­sion making

Let­ting emo­tions affect your deci­sion mak­ing abil­i­ty makes it extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to reach an out of court set­tle­ment. Emo­tions have no place in fam­i­ly law set­tle­ments. Save your emo­tions for your friends and/​or your coun­sel­lor. Whether the mat­ter in dis­pute is relat­ed to your chil­dren or your finances, it is best to approach the set­tle­ment in a busi­nesslike man­ner. Bal­ance up the pro­pos­al against the like­ly risk and costs to you of not reach­ing an agree­ment and hav­ing to have your mat­ter deter­mined by the court.