Most people would rather not have to deal with a divorce, and many try to keep it out of the courtroom by reaching a settlement. With a settlement, you and your spouse can both walk away from your marriage knowing that you were able to reach an agreement that suited you both and there should not be too many hard feelings about the whole situation.
If both you and your spouse decide that you'd like to try to settle your divorce outside of court, the first thing you need to do is let your divorce attorney know. He will be able to help you set up a conference and to get the ball rolling. An impartial third party will be present in the settlement conference and she will assist you both in reaching an agreement.
Before your conference, collect all paperwork and documentation that you need to back up your requests. This includes any necessary information about child custody, child support, spousal support, your incomes, expenses, etc. Create a list of all assets with their approximate values. The more documentation you have, the better. Your attorney will be able to help you decide what information is required.
You will submit this information a couple days ahead of time and your spouse will do the same. Copies of all submissions will go to each spouse and attorney. This helps you understand what your spouse’s lawyers are looking for and what their arguments may be, and you can plan accordingly.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your conference is to prepare yourself mentally. Divorce can be an emotional roller coaster, so by centering yourself and trying to stay calm, you will probably walk away from the entire situation in much better shape. Think about things your spouse may bring up that could make you angry, and consider what you can do to reach an agreement or calmly state why you disagree. Yelling won't achieve any positive result, so try to keep a level head.