BBC News asked me to comment about how to negotiate a deal in the context of the Brexit crisis.
You might be tempted to wonder what a family attorney can do for the Brexit debate. But it’s not as bizarre as you think. Why? Why?
My advice when it comes to negotiating any deal, whether it be Brexit or my role as a family attorney dealing with divorce, finances, or children disputes, is:
1. Build the right team; be bold and think outside the box. I am fortunate to have a great team around me.
2. Get to know your client. I advise you on the options and help you decide what to do.
3. Get to know your opponent and discover what is most important to them. There will be clues during the discussions. You should also know who is influencing the decisions and what their roles are. While many people are involved in a divorce, some may not be present at the table. Trustees, extended family, and trustees, for example, can all play an important role in the finalization of the deal. You must also learn how to influence them.
4. Although it may seem simple, it is often overlooked. Be clear with your client and opponent about the benefits and warn them of the potential consequences of failing to reach a deal. There are always uncertainties in family cases, but it is important to know the parameters of realistic outcomes.
5. Be flexible and open-minded to new information and changes in the environment. While I assist clients in creating their strategy, we always have a plan B. Sometimes there are many.
6. Listen. Listen. In any situation, no matter how difficult it is, such as a divorce or a political impasse, you must listen.
7. Be clear about where you stand on the red lines and be ready to fight for your rights. Sometimes that means walking away from negotiations and being ready to litigate.
8. Think creatively and be creative to find the best solution for your client.
Divorce: High conflict and survival
Sometimes communication can break down completely. Diana Parker, senior partner of our London family team shares her tips on how to manage high conflict divorce. She draws on her extensive experience helping clients prepare for and get through separation.
It is not easy to turn your main ally into your enemy. They suddenly become your enemy because they only care about their interests which may be the opposite of yours. You feel attacked by someone. Your mind and body are ready to wage war. The following are some of the things you can expect:
- You feel queasy because of the adrenaline your body produces when it prepares to fight.
- There is nothing you can think of.
- You’re consumed with rage and want to throw stones through windows.
- You rehearse incessantly killer arguments that you can’t stop thinking about.
It will be a long journey so you must pace yourself and stay fit mentally and physically. You don’t have to give up, but part of the game is to wear you down.
These are some suggestions for people who find themselves in this difficult situation.
Find a solicitor that you trust and discuss defensive strategies, such as:
- Never forward anything to a Friday or the last thing of the day.
- Never forward a letter without a draft response.
Send e-mails to your soon-to-be-ex
In case of doubt, ask your solicitor to approve an e-mail. In certain cases, it is best to not communicate with anyone except for the collection and return of children. It is not worth buying a dog to bark at. Tell your soon-to-be partner that you won’t respond. Next, resist the temptation.
It is best to agree that your financial disclosure will be the main focus of your efforts.
…and you will be looking at a Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing, where a neutral third-party Judge or divorce lawyer surrey bc can act as a judge who will listen to both sides’ proposals and offer a solution. While this will not be binding on you, it is important to consider. This is often a great way to end the deadlock and reach an agreement. Focus on the time frame.