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What to Expect at a Divorce Settlement Conference

Published: Sep 11, 2019 in Divorce, Legal Blog
Conference room with tables and chairs

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

The decision to divorce is often much easier than deciding how to divorce. Figuring out how to divide marital assets and handle custody issues can be extremely difficult. The divorce settlement conference is your opportunity to reach an agreement that works for everyone involved. While this may sound impossible, an experienced Pittsburgh divorce attorney can help you navigate these difficult waters.

At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, we understand that this is a challenging time. We work tirelessly to make sure that you get the best possible result for you and your family. If you’re considering divorce, call (412) 471-5100, or reach out through the online form to get started on your case.

Be Prepared to Discuss All the Issues

The purpose of the divorce settlement conference is to divide marital property and determine things like child custody and visitation so that you can proceed with the divorce. For example, you should give some thought to the following before attending the conference:

  • Will one spouse keep the house, or will you sell it?
  • What about other major assets, such as your cars?
  • What is an agreeable custody and visitation schedule for the children?
  • How will you divide savings accounts?
  • How will on-going financial commitments be handled?
  • Who will get the pets?
  • How will you divide personal property and household goods?
  • How much are you able to pay for child care and other expenses related to your children’s welfare?

In reaching the agreement, you want to be as specific as possible so that there is little room for disagreement later on.

Be Prepared to Negotiate and Compromise

A divorce settlement conference intends to give the spouses and their attorneys control over how assets will be divided, and how children will be cared for. If you cannot come to an agreement, any undecided issues will be decided by the court. Here, it’s possible that you will not get what you want. Reaching an agreement without the court’s intervention is less expensive, less time-consuming, and a lot less stressful.

Prior to the divorce settlement conference, you should prioritize what you hope to achieve through the process. Give some thought to which items you are willing to compromise on, and which items you must keep. Your attorney can help you gauge what you can reasonably expect under the law.

Be Prepared to Deal with Negative Emotions

The divorce process can be emotionally draining for everyone involved. If the divorce involves feelings of disdain, the settlement conference is often used by one spouse to get back at the other. Your soon-to-be ex might be angry, inflexible, and unreasonable. On the other hand, they may seem distraught and vulnerable, making you feel guilty and more inclined to meet their demands.

Of course, you may also be angry, sad, or otherwise upset. While these emotions are completely understandable, be careful that your emotions don’t cloud the proceedings. With the help of your lawyer, the goal of the divorce settlement conference is to reach the best possible agreement that protects your interests.

Contact a Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney for Help Today

At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, we realize how difficult the process of ending one’s marriage can be, which is why you need someone on your side. We focus exclusively on family law, so we have the knowledge and experience you need to get results. Let us help you build a better future – call us at (412) 471-5100, or contact us online to learn how we can help.