NEGOTIATION should often be tried before a court action is started. This means that if the parties are unable to negotiate with each other to reach a Separation Agreement because of high conflict or communication problems between them, their lawyers can assist them to negotiation a settlement. This often takes place in one of the lawyer’s offices where both parties and lawyers meet to discuss settlement. Usually the most effective method of negotiation is termed “interest based negotiation” as opposed to “positional based negotiation”. Interest based negotiation means that the negotiators are thinking about what best serves the interests of both parties, and not just one. This is particularly important in family situations where parents need to have an ongoing relationship so they can continue to parent children. A positional based negotiation means that the negotiators are only thinking about their own needs. This type of negotiation often alienates parents from each other causing added problems.


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