Statistically, few cases result in a full-blown divorce trial and we take advantage of that in our practice. At Dennigan Cahill Smith, LLC. we negotiate out-of-court settlements on behalf of our clients. We don’t have to wait until the “courtroom steps” because settlement can even occur before anyone files papers in court.
When we negotiate a settlement for our client before anyone has filed papers in court, it usually results in a document called a “Marital Settlement Agreement.” A “MSA” is essentially, a contract between the spouses. The document spells out the agreements of the parties on key issues such as custody, parenting time, alimony, child support and equitable distribution. Once signed, we typically initiate proceedings for an “uncontested” divorce.
We are not confined to standard negotiations between spouses and lawyers. We explore whether other options, such as mediation, arbitration or collaborative law might be right for our clients. When we can, we help clients get the voluntary agreement of their spouses to reach a fair settlement. When that's not the case, we are tough but sensible litigators, and we prepare our clients accordingly.
Out of court settlements are common in post-judgment issues; disputes that arise after a divorce. Changing alimony, dividing college expenses and formally emancipating a child are examples of the kinds of post-divorce cases we handle.
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