Law & Legal & Attorney Wills & trusts

How to Reach a Mutual Agreement

    • 1). Create a list prior to the meeting. In one column, list what you expect out of the settlement, and in the other column, list what the other party expects out of the settlement. For cases in which you are suing for physical injuries, medical bills or other types of injury, such as libel, slander or even a breach of contract, list the amounts needed and what the amounts are for. Include attorney's fees and costs if applicable.

    • 2). Read through the list and highlight items that are not negotiable in one color. Highlight items that are definitely negotiable in another color, and finally, items that are negotiable but that you prefer not to be negotiable in another color. If you are trying to reach a mutual agreement in a family law case, include assets and liabilities.

    • 3). Gather documents relating to the amounts that you feel you are entitled to. This includes medical bills, attorney's fees and costs and other related invoices. Put the documents in order according to your list, so they are easier to find.

    • 4). Make a copy of the documents and the list for the opposing party. For family law cases, the whole idea is equitable distribution. Move assets and liabilities around, so that you have a spreadsheet or list showing an equal amount of assets and liabilities for both parties. If one party wants the hous, and the house has a mortgage, list only the equity. The party that accepts the house usually pays the mortgage, so she must be able to afford the payments.

    • 5). Set up a meeting time at a quiet, neutral location. Give the other party his copy of the documents and the list. Allow the other party time to read the list and documents. If the other party gave you a list and documents, review his documents.

    • 6). Check off anything that is the same on both lists. Write it in a separate list. Work with the first contested item. If you want the other party to pay that item or to give you that item, and it's a negotiable item, ask her to present an offer that is between the amount on her list and your list. In the case of family assets and liabilities, ask the other party if she would like to trade that item for another item.

    • 7). Work through the list, making a new list as you decide the amounts of items that are to be paid in cash. Add any trades to the list. Cross each item off the original list as you agree on the items.

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