Are you going through a separation and would like to avoid going to court? There are many dispute resolution options that promote collaborative and amicable resolutions. One of these methods is the Settlement Meeting, or 4-Way Settlement Meeting. Our skilled team of Calgary based lawyers break down the process of a 4-Way Settlement Meeting.
This is a meeting that is attended by both parties and their legal counsel, the purpose of which is to discuss issues and reach a mutually agreeable resolution on any given matter or, ideally, on all matters that are outstanding. The premise behind 4-way settlement meetings is to keep the matter out of court and reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Prior to the meeting one of the lawyers may create an agenda which is shared with all the parties. This will ensure the most important issues remain the key focus and prevent getting side tracked by deadlock debates, essentially aiding in the productivity of the meeting.
While a 4-way settlement meeting can take place at any point during the family law proceedings they are generally held prior to trial as a last attempt to settle before going to court. If held at the beginning of the matter, the 4-way meeting may act as grounds to determine other dispute resolution options such as mediation, arbitration, or in more adversarial circumstances, litigation.
The advantages of a 4-way settlement meeting are that the informal environment mitigates the adversarial nature of litigation and replaces it, to an extent with a problem-solving atmosphere. In regards to cost, settlement meetings may become expensive as you are paying your legal counsel by the hour. However, 4-way meetings will almost always be less costly than going to trial. The disadvantages of a 4-way settlement meeting are that both parties need legal representation to attend. Additionally, much like in mediation parties can proceed through the process and never achieve a mutually agreeable resolution, meaning, the parties must commence resolution through other means.
If you are considering separation or divorce and need legal advice, connect with us to set up an initial consultation. We offer you the ability to choose the dispute resolution process that is best for your unique situation. Regardless of the process selected, we walk you through it step-by-step ensuring you have control of the outcome.
If you are going through a separation or divorce, Mediation / Arbitration may be the right dispute resolution option for you. This unique hybrid approach allows you to combine the benefits of these two processes into a two-step approach. Read on to find out more about this hybrid approach, including the benefits and drawbacks.
Mediation / Arbitration is a process of dispute resolution in which parties to a conflict agree to refer their matter to a trained, impartial, neutral third party. The parties first attempt to resolve their issues in an amicable matter. In the event, they are unable to reach a mutually agreeable resolution with the assistance of the neutral third party then there is a hearing conducted and a binding decision is rendered. The Mediation/ Arbitration process allows you to attempt to implement the advantages of mediation (such as maintaining control over the result and being creative with resolutions) while addressing the disadvantages of both mediation (such as there being no guarantee of a resolution) and litigation (such as massive delay and extensive legal fees).
The main disadvantage of arbitration is that it is only available if both parties agree and sign a Mediation/ Arbitration Agreement binding them to the process.
Finally, it is important to note that this option is a hybrid process that consists of two separate and distinct phases. The first of which provides parties with an opportunity to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their dispute. The second phase occurs only in the event the first is unsuccessful and is essentially a private trial in which a binding decision is rendered by a neutral third party.
If you are considering Mediation / Arbitration, or have questions regarding dispute resolution options. Connect with us to set up an initial consultation.