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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 01-08-2014, 05:30 AM
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Default Weight of Settlement offers on trial judges decision

A little info in point form

- Had settlement conference for SS in 2010.

- Judge made recommendations on direction to take in negotiations based on what she deemed would likely be awarded at trial if it were to end up there.

-Within 3 days my lawyer made settlement offer closely based on the recommendations of SC Judge in an effort to clue it up expeditiously, at my request.

- An entire year passed with no acknowledgement of the offer, no communication from spouses lawyer and not a single attempt to counter offer.

- Lawyer and I literally assumed after 12 months that spouse had decided to cease with her pursuit of SS claim.

-Nearly 13 months later, opposing council rears her head and makes a counter offer.

-Counter offer is no where close to being even within the realm of the opinion of SC Judge.

Now my questions.

Despite there not being any statute of limitations on making a claim for spousal support, does the fact that ex is not pursuing her claim in a timely fashion hold any weight in the decision making factors of the trial judge, if it goes to trial?

Does a trial judge factor in and read the settlement offers of both parties? HOw does the settlement offers impact on his ruling when one party has dragged it out unreasonably for 9 years post separation?

Thanks so much. I look forward to your input, opinions and any direction to supporting case law if you know of any.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:39 AM
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Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough
Default

Settlement offers are "without prejudice." They are not permitted to be used as evidence at trial, and are not considered when the judge is making a decision. They should not even be read by the judge.

After the decision, the offers may be considered so that the judge can decide whether and how to award costs.

The length of time your ex waited to seek support doesn't directly affect support, but it should be part of your argument that your ex is/was capable of being self-supporting and that any need she feels is not a result of the marriage or the break-up. You have to spell out that argument, the judge won't do it for you. There may be counter-arguments made to that.
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