Me, You, And Our Lawyers Make Four: The Four-Way Divorce Meeting

Law Blog

Divorces often feel like the absolute worst thing in the world. You and your spouse may be emotionally spent from all the arguing and battling, but how can you avoid this problem? Simple, by having a four-way meeting with your lawyers. This four-person session helps sort out a lot of problems, concerns, and difficulties. Before jumping into one blind, however, you need to know a little bit about them.

Four-Way Meeting Definition

A four-way meeting is, in essence, an informal meeting. It is undertaken by you, your spouse, and both of your lawyers. The lawyers are there strictly as an emotional clutch: they help keep the meeting from becoming too heated as you and your spouse discuss the various issues, concerns, and financial stipulations fueling your divorce.

Feelings can run hot in a four-way meeting, but a properly run meeting will take on a logical and straightforward discussion setting. There shouldn't be any finger-pointing or yelling. And remember, nothing is legally binding in a four-way meeting, unless you and your spouse sign the proper paperwork.

Why You Should Consider One

Four-way meetings are a good way to informally hash out the details of the divorce in a neutral and emotionally calm environment. In this way, issues like "who gets what" can be more easily and rationally worked out. It also helps save you the annoyance of lengthy litigation: you may spend up to $2,000 per day in a lengthy and bitter divorce settlement.

Beyond saving you money, it can shorten the length of the whole process and make it easier for you and your spouse to get on with your life. It can also help you narrow your concerns down to the most important issues, such as custody, division of goods, and any type of divorce payments either of you owes to the other.

Tips For A Successful Four-Way Meeting

Generally speaking, four-way meetings are very amicable. However, with so many people involved in the process, it's important to keep things well organized and moving quickly to avoid confusion. Here are a few simple tips that can help speed the process along:

  • Have a plan prepared before the meeting
  • Print out a list of talking points that are vital to your case
  • Create an "order of talking" and stick to it
  • Let everyone say their peace without interrupting
  • Take breaks if emotions get too high

These simple tips are designed to help turn what can be a potentially stressful situation into one that accomplishes all its goals. Never be afraid to speak your mind in these meetings, but avoid using excessively mean-spirited or angry language whenever possible.

Now that you have a good idea of what to expect in a four-way meeting, call up your family law attorney today and set one up. Divorce doesn't have to be a bitter "bite and scratch" battle to the death. It can be civil and simple as long as you work together.


2 December 2015