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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 06-17-2013, 12:14 PM
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Default Response to my offer to settle - need opinion quickly

Hi all, I received a reply to my offer to settle and need to reply relatively quickly!

She is proposing / agreeing to shared custody in her reply (what I want). In regards to the house she wants to buy me out but the terms are ridiculous (what she wants).

My question is if I accept that shared custody proposal in a formal response but reject or don't respond to the buyout terms for the house.

Can she reneg on the portion of the offer the offer I have accepted (shared custody)...i.e. my formal legal acceptance makes that point of the Reply Offer legally binding? They are written out as separate unique points in the response offer, but just want to make sure that my acceptance doesn't become legally binding after something else has to take place or be written up (such as Minutes Of Settlement).

Prior negotiation has shown that she will offer shared custody but reneg whenever I don't agree to some ridiculous financial demand, but those were thru legal correspondence not a formal Offer such as this. Just once bitten twice shy!

I am really really hoping that my acceptance of Shared Custody makes it legally binding without anything else being required so I can negotiate the rest of the offer without worrying about her reneging.

Please advise as I need to draft a reply before it expires!
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:27 PM
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I don't have an answer for you however, if she has made an official offer for shared custody she would have a very hard time explaining to a judge why she suddenly changed her mind. This is very good for you, IMHO.

I think with an offer to settle it's all or nothing. Your provide a counter offer if you like but you can't accept portions of an offer as far as I know.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:56 PM
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Thansk CSAngel - your right that is a huge win and even if there is a loophole for her to reneg it definitely wouldn't look good at motion in July for her to try and explain why!

1. The offer says I can accept any part without cost, or 2. I can accept the whole thing and she will waive claim for spousal support. #2 is silly because there is no entitlement for SS anyway.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:30 PM
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Normally offers can only be accepted in full; otherwise people would cherry pick what they want (the concessions) while keeping the fight going on the other issues.

However, if the offers lets you accept any part, and not the whole, may as well take what is given.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrleansLawyer View Post
Normally offers can only be accepted in full; otherwise people would cherry pick what they want (the concessions) while keeping the fight going on the other issues.

However, if the offers lets you accept any part, and not the whole, may as well take what is given.
The keyword to look for in the Offer to Settle is "severable". A well done "severable" offer will state what elements can be severed and agreed upon in partial etc. Rare to see as they are hard to write, complex and expensive to write up.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrleansLawyer View Post
Normally offers can only be accepted in full; otherwise people would cherry pick what they want (the concessions) while keeping the fight going on the other issues.
My ex does that regularly, though not on formal offers to settle yet. We agree to a range of issues, then she accepts my concessions as the new starting point, and renegotiates her concessions.

Rinse and repeat.

I'm going to draw up a formal offer to settle soon, and it is definitely going to be a take it or leave it offer. I'm going to try and negotiate one last time before I send the offer to settle, since I consider those things to be very aggressive, and I think that once I set the train to litigation going, it will be hard to get it off the track.
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