It may feel like a slap in the face if your attorney comes to you with a settlement offer from the other party, especially if your case is on the road to trial. The offer may catch you by surprise.
Settlement offers may be made throughout a family law case, whether early on, or just before trial. In a manner of speaking, mediation is essentially a professional discussing and delivering settlement offers back and forth between parties.
You may have never considered settling and may think you are ready to push your case clear to trial, so why is your attorney discussing settlement offers with you?
Why Settlement Might Be the Best Option
An attorney has an obligation to make you aware of any offers made toward settling, even if they know you are going to turn it down anyway.
The main reason an attorney will discuss a settlement offer is if they feel the offer will be beneficial to you. You may be ready to push your case to trial, but are you ready for the outcome? Although trial is tempting since it offers a final resolution, it’s a long and difficult (and expensive) road. Are you prepared for the outcome in the chance it doesn’t go in your favor? If your attorney is discussing a settlement offer with you, odds are it’s because they feel it may be worth accepting instead of risking it moving forward to trial.
When you go to trial, you surrender to the Judge your ability to make a decision that can impact your life forever. Sometimes settlement agreements are reached outside the court room minutes before trial is scheduled to begin.
Should You Accept a Settlement Offer?
Ask your attorney’s thoughts. If they are bringing a serious offer to the table, it’s okay to ask questions. Ask how your attorney feels about the offer, ask what possible outcomes there could be if you decide to decline the offer and move forward. You can make more of an educated decision once you the answers.
Take your time. It’s appropriate to tell your attorney you’d like to mull the offer over. But keep in mind, just like they say in commercials, good deals don’t last forever. Make sure you ask your attorney when they need a final answer from you.
The Decision is Yours
Ultimately, the final decision is up to you. You are the one impacted by trial outcomes or settlement agreements, so you need to be comfortable with what you are agreeing to. You’re the one who has to make the final call. Keep in mind that you are paying your attorney to advise you on your case, so if they are suggesting you accept an offer, it’s worth at least considering.
At Burton Law Firm, we’ve helped clients through numerous trials and countless settlement negotiations. We have the experience to navigate your case, not just to represent you in court, so if they are suggesting you accept an offer, it’s worth at least considering. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Peter is one of the top up-and-coming young lawyers in the state. Raised in Layton, Utah, Peter was named by the Standard-Examiner as among the top 2% of Utah’s high school seniors.
In addition to his current practice, Peter’s practical experience includes serving as extern corporate counsel for Shiseido, one of the world’s largest cosmetic corporations, and clerking for federal criminal appellate counsel. He has extensive experience in family law matters.
He enjoys feeling like he has made a difference helping his clients with their domestic case needs.
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