Hello back again. I,m just wondering how many people have actually come to a settlement at FDR. I just want this horrlble cloud to be lifted and move on.I can,t cope with the stress and worry of not knowing my future. I feel like walking away but can,t abandon my boys like x did.Sorry just scared stiff.
We settled at FDR. I think it''s quite common to do so. This is because:
Going to final hearing is expensive so people are reluctant to do it
You get a good idea at FDR about what the other side is arguing. Also the barristers get to meet the client and get an impression of what they would be like as witnesses. I think my ex''s barrister realised how hopeless he would be so was eager to settle.
There are proper offers on the table, often for the first time.
The judge gives an indication of what he or she would do if it went to final hearing. This can concentrate minds considerably as it makes it clearer to one side or the other than they could spend a lot more money to get a worse deal than they are being offered at the moment. It also makes some people realise that their position isn''t one supported by the judge. It can also make people realise that if they go to final hearing they may end up with an outcome decided by the judge which suits neither side. In my case the judge made it clear that the case would be hard to decide and could go either way and I think neither of us wanted to take the risk.
Also, quite a lot of cases aren''t actually settled at FDR but in the week or so afterwards. Don''t forget that you can ask for a couple of days to think about an offer.
Negotiating at FDR can be pretty awkward, depending on what the court is like. In my case he was in one crowded waiting area with his barrister while I was in another corner with mine. We were all (well, his barrister, and I and my barrister were) doing calculations on the backs of envelopes. There is a lot of horse-trading and the end result may have no logic to it - in the end we basically split the difference between two positions. Given this, it is worth working out some possible outcomes in advance and what the implications would be. So in my case I had already anticipated the split-the-difference outcome and knew that I could live with it. I also knew what outcomes were not possible to live with so although I really wanted to settle I was also aware of what my sticking points were.
Sadie I think you described it all very well - i was lucky in that my court had room for us both to have rooms so we weren''t huddling in corners
I laughed when you said the barristers were scribbling on the back of envelopes - that is pretty much what it is but we must remember for the Barristers, this is what they do, they are comfortable in this arena - we are not, they seem calm and to be honest quite friendly with each other, that as one half of a warring couple does seem strange as you want your Barrister to "battle" with their "opponent" and they don''t - it is nothing like you expect if the only knowledge you have of a court is from the telly - there is no "i put it to you m''lud" !!
I also agree that if it does not settle at FDR, there is usually plenty of time for both sides to think about what has been said by the Judge before the final hearing and i am hopeful that mine could still settle before then. We have had more correspondence from stbx''s solicitors in the last two weeks than we have had all through the process - before FDR they often didn''t acknowledge anything we sent them but now they are writing to us off their own back - mostly to ask further questions (even though there are still questions from us that remain unanswered) but my solicitor feels that they are gearing up for some sort of offer so we will see
Please don''t panic Stressed, yes the not knowing is scary but your Barrister will do the talking - just remember to listen to the Judge and then listen to what your Barrister makes of it, I must admit I completely misinterpreted something the Judge said and needed clarification from my Barrister later - it turned out what I though the Judge was saying was that I had no chance and in fact I got the wrong end of the stick - I can imagine that self reppers have a very hard job of trying to keep track of it all