Cooperative Negotiations

Cooperative Negotiations

What are Cooperative Negotiations.

In cooperative negotiations, as in Collaborative Practice, you and your spouse are represented by lawyers and the goal is to solve problems without litigation. As in Collaborative Practice, the participants and their lawyers agree to

  • Negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without court intervention
  • Maintain open communication and informal information-sharing
  • Create shared solutions, acknowledging the highest priorities of the entire family

There may or may not be other professionals involved. If so, such professionals are retained jointly, not for a particular participant.

Negotiations may proceed by meetings, or may proceed by the lawyers exchanging proposals.

In cooperative negotiations you and your spouse will often agree that if impasse occurs the matter will be submitted to a private judge for a decision, or to a mediator to facilitate a negotiated resolution. The private judge or mediator would be identified in advance and would work with you in an informal setting.

Impasse might occur if you and your spouse, working in good faith with your lawyers and with each other, and despite using your best efforts to solve a particular problem or problems, simply cannot arrive at a solution.

Cooperative negotiations work best when the participants, including the including the lawyers, respect each other, trust each other to be honest and to behave with integrity, and are willing to make the effort to understand each other even when they don’t agree.

Why you might choose Cooperative Negotiations instead of Mediation or Collaborative Practice.

Cooperative negotiations might be a good alternative for you if you want to stay out of court but want to be represented, and might prefer to have your lawyer speak for you rather than negotiating directly with your spouse. It also would be a good alternative for you if want to stay out of court but you like the idea of having a “decider” if you and your spouse cannot come to a decision about one or more issues.

Why you might not choose Cooperative Negotiations.

You might not choose cooperative negotiations if you are interested in speaking for yourself and uncomfortable delegating decision-making to a third person.