Q: I HAVE A SETTLE MENT CONFERENCE IN 4WEEKS. DO I NEED TO HAVE A LAWYER PRESENT?
A: No, a settlement conference is nothing more than the parties sitting down with a mediator, frequently the judge. It is a time for the parties to sit down, and have a third party facilitate the conversation. Often it is also a good time for the judge to convey what the most likely scenario is for a ruling, which an be VERY helpful in getting one side or the other to budge on their demands.
Lawyers can be very helpful in these situations and if you have complex issues such as extensive property claims or child custody issues, I would recommend having a lawyer with you. If you do not have much to discuss, if it was a short term marriage, no kids, and little property, you can probably get away without a lawyer. You can always pay a lawyer for a consultation before hand, and they can give you the feedback you need.
If you have questions about the divorce process, and strategy issues, or child custody issues, I would recommend that you read my books, A MAN'S GUIDE TO DIVORCE STRATEGY and A MAN'S GUIDE TO CHIDL CUSTODY. Both are available in hard copy form on Amazon.com, BN.com, and as e-books from http://www.MensFamilylaw.com
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