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Dispute Resolution Options: Settlement Meeting / 4-Way Settlement Meeting

Dispute Resolution Options: Settlement Meeting / 4-Way Settlement Meeting

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. In this blog, our skilled team of Calgary based lawyers break down the process of a 4-Way Settlement Meeting.

Why Choose 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.

When Does a 4-Way Settlement Meeting Occur?

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.

What Are The Benefits and Drawbacks of A 4-Way Settlement Meeting?

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.


Disclaimer: The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.