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Cunningham Law Office
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How a settlement conference may help you avoid family law court

People who are planning to take their family law case before a Montana court may worry that the judge will make a decision without fully understanding the facts. You may wonder if there is an alternative to litigation. At Cunningham Law Office, we often help clients come to a peaceful resolution through settlement conferences.

Perhaps you have heard of mediation, in which a neutral third person meets with spouses and helps them to come to an agreement. If you and your spouse are unable to meet for a discussion without it leading to a dispute, you may have already decided that mediation will not help. While a settlement conference has the same goal, it has some distinct differences from mediation.

The State Bar of Montana states that in a settlement conference, instead of sitting down across the negotiation table from your spouse with a neutral mediator, you and your attorney will be in one room, while your spouse and his or her attorney will be in another. When the settlement master comes into your room, you and your attorney present your side of the case. Then, the settlement master speaks to your spouse. 

After hearing both sides, the settlement master helps both you and your spouse to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your cases. Then, you are able to get a clear picture of what is reasonable. Most couples who go through this process are able to come to an agreement without taking their cases further.

More information about alternative dispute resolution methods is available on our webpage.

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Cunningham Law Office is a family law-focused firm in Missoula, Montana. We serve Missoula, Ravalli County, and the surrounding area.