In a recent interview, Paul McMahon, founding partner at Breud, McMahon & Firestone in Commack, NY, revealed how to survive in a four-way meeting during a divorce settlement. —
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When asked to comment, he said, “For many, an extremely stressful aspect of the divorce process is sitting across from your spouse in a four-way meeting and speaking about personal matters in front of attorneys.”
McMahon added that this concern is further exacerbated for anyone who has been exposed to domestic violence, threats, and harassment in the relationship.
However, according to him, a four-way meeting – also known as a four-way conference – can produce favorable outcomes when considering the following advice.
Ensuring the client and attorney are on the same wavelength can go a long way in achieving a productive meeting.
When asked to elaborate, he explained, "Before the meeting, consult with your lawyer to discuss your goals, priorities, and what you wish to get out of the conference. You should also discuss whether or not you'd like to actively participate in negotiations or if you'd like your attorney to speak on your behalf."
“This is a great way to present a united front with your legal representation and to avoid any surprises, which is the last thing you want,” McMahon added.
Another tip that McMahon gives his clients is to keep emotions at bay.
“During my years of representing clients going through divorces, I've seen that it's quite tempting – and detrimental – for couples to jump down each other's throats and make derogatory comments. This does nothing aside from harboring ill will and distracting from the main aim of the meeting."
“Instead, keeping a cool head and calm demeanor will go much further in achieving the goals that you and your attorney set out to accomplish in the meeting,” he said.
To avoid conflict, McMahon also recommends striking compromises in the meetings within reason.
“When coming up with terms, I definitely recommend keeping an open mind. Of course, you wouldn't want to receive the shorter end of the stick while negotiating, however, it's better to be flexible when a solution is beneficial to both sides."
McMahon was quick to add that narrowing the focus on answers that will be advantageous to everyone involved will result in a cheaper and much less stressful divorce.
Name: Paul McMahon
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Organization: Breud McMahon & Firestone, P.L.L.C.
Address: 356 Veterans Memorial Hwy #3, Commack, NY 11725, USA
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