In many cases, a solicitor can assist couples in reaching an agreement through negotiations.

The process

Negotiations with solicitors can take place via correspondence, some round-table discussions or by simply calling.

Even if the couple is separated, negotiations with solicitors are a great way to compromise and focus on the main issues. The constructive nature of negotiations can assist in creating a positive atmosphere with a focus on the settlement.

The right conditions

Solicitor negotiations are particularly designed for situations in which the parties are in a mutually agreeable relationship.

It could also be appropriate for couples that are separated:

  • in the event that you want to come to an agreement, instead of having one enforced
  • In cases where there is consensus about the general principles, different details must be worked out
  • In cases where you’ve ‘gotten stuck’ on an RTM meeting in a single location can help bring everyone’s attention.

    Round-table meeting

    A round-table conference (RTM) is a meeting where each party and their lawyers sitting around a table, trying to and come to an agreement on the children’s financial or other issues.

    In most cases, both parties are given their own space in order to discuss the matter in a private manner and seek advice from their solicitors. There may also be a second area where all (or just solicitors) can gather to discuss.

    An RTM can be a useful tool to break the impasse during negotiations or to resolve problems. Most clients think they need the assistance of a lawyer present to assist them in negotiations and advise them however, they like the idea of creating their own unique solution with their spouse or spouse.

    Benefits of a RTM

    • “Confidential and non-prejudice’ – this usually means that any ideas discussed will not be later used against any of the parties in the event of any court proceedings in the future, therefore discussions are more flexible.
    • Privacy The venue of RTM RTM will be much less secluded than a busy courthouse.
    • Comfort It could be held in a setting that is more relaxing than a courtroom, e.g. the solicitor’s office or a hotel meeting rooms with refreshments.
    • Learn at your own speed A RTM can be scheduled on the date you prefer and with relatively time-sensitive times to address an urgent issue like arrangements for a school holiday that is coming up.
    • In your terms The parties are involved directly in the discussion while having the support of their solicitor. In the end, they usually feel more confident, and positive about moving forward.

    Our perspective

    Every case involves a component of negotiation and solicitor advice. Some cases can be resolved entirely through negotiations. In other situations it may be continued in conjunction with mediation or legal proceedings.


    Example negotiation process


    A solicitor holds set up an initial appointment with their customer. The the emotions are high and there are a variety of concerns. The couple lives together and are trying to figure out the arrangements for their children or figure out how their financial affairs should be dealt with in the near future.


    The solicitor arranges a meeting with the solicitor for the other side. They agree that they must put in place some immediate arrangements in place, until they’ve divorced. Both lawyers believe that the couple is likely to to come together to figure out the arrangements for their children. They are both in agreement that they will suggest mediation as the best method to settle these problems. They will meet with them again within a few weeks after the situation has calmed down.


    In their next meeting they agree that they should share financial details on an uninvolved basis. They both stress that their clients want to settle disputes quickly and efficiently. They agree thatif both parties are pleased with the financial data the others have provided, they must meet for an RTM to discuss the settlement.


    Problems are resolved at the RTM and written proposals are exchanged quickly and the remaining issues are resolved by a series telephone calls between the solicitors. A consent agreement is then sent by the judge.

    Typically, following an initial conversation with the other side’s solicitor, we make a decision on the situation can be solved through negotiation, if it is suitable for another type of non-court resolution, or if the interests of our client should be protected by filing an application to the court.


    Mediation is a process whereby a couple meet with a neutral mediator , who assists them in reaching an agreement through an array of face-to-face meetings.

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