Lawyers who concentrate their practice in divorce and family law belong to a close community. They have tried cases against each other over the years, attended the same professional events and may have even asked each other for advice. If your attorney and your spouse's attorney are cordial to one another, don't be dismayed. They aren't being disloyal to you, they're trying to create an atmosphere conducive to settlement. A skilled attorney will know when pleasantries end and tough negotiation begins.
During this period it is in both side's interest to act in a civilized, courteous manner and to negotiate in a way that avoids hostility, diffuses tension and maximizes the ability of the parties and their lawyers to arrive at a mutually acceptable settlement.
Clients commonly believe than an opponent's suggestions should be routinely rejected because they are bad ideas or because they reflect an ulterior motive.
Let your lawyer guide your response to the other side's suggestion. An offer from the other side is not bad per se. Consider it. And then remember: a skilled attorney should always be able to improve an initial offer...
An experienced family law practitioner knows that an agreement negotiated between the parties is the best possible outcome, because it allows them to fine tune matters the court is ill-equipped to resolve. After all, no judge will ever know the parties as well as you and your spouse know each other. And, a negotiated settlement always costs less than a litigated one.
Obviously, no settlement will be reached without your consideration and approval.