tRoundtable Meeting & Consultation – What is the Difference?
Consultations and roundtable meetings are specific types of meetings. This article aims to explain the meaning of each – specifically in the context of divorce.
What is a Roundtable Meeting?
With contested divorce, a roundtable meeting will usually be arranged between the parties for settlement discussions. (In uncontested divorces where the parties have already agreed on the terms of the settlement agreement and parenting plans, a roundtable meeting will not be necessary.)
Both parties’ legal teams (consisting of attorneys and sometimes also Advocates) will meet in a boardroom or office. The parties will usually sit in separate waiting areas. During the course of the roundtable meeting, each person will be called by his/her own legal team to discuss the progress and to give further instructions.
The Purpose of a Roundtable Meeting
The purpose of a roundtable meeting is to negotiate the terms of possible settlement. The information shared during the roundtable meeting will be privileged & without prejudice. This means that the information may not be used directly in Court. This will encourage settlement as it allows the parties to speak freely without fear that the information will be used against him/her in Court.
Should settlement be reached at the roundtable meeting, the attorneys will draft the settlement agreement. The terms of the agreement will become the terms of the divorce after the Judge/Magistrate has granted the divorce.
What is a Consultation?
A consultation is a meeting with an expert. In the context of divorce, a consultation will refer to a meeting between the client and his/her attorney.
In cases where an Advocate has been appointed, the Advocate will also attend and the consultation will usually take place at the Advocate’s chambers (office). The attorney or his/her representative must attend the consultation at the Advocate’s chambers with the client.
Types of Consultations:
The most common types of consultation are in person and telephonic consultations. Other consultation types include:
- Video conference call consultations
- Skype consultations
- WhatsApp consultations
- Email consultations
- Sms consultations
More Questions About Divorce?
Nazli Williams, divorce attorney at Patton Williams Attorneys and co-author of What You Should Know Before Filing For Divorce is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, specialising in Divorce and Family Law matters. Her fields of interest include Divorce Law, Family Law, Domestic Violence Law and International Divorce Law. Her vision is to demystify Family Law processes, helping good people in plain language and with great technology, to achieve remarkable results.