Family Negotiation Role-Play:

Trask Divorce

Two-party, multi-issue negotiation between lawyers representing a divorcing couple regarding alimony and financial support for a special-needs child; involves ethical issues

Please note: you must order multiple copies in order to run this simulation. You should order a copy for every person participating in the simulation.Read more.

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SCENARIO:

Kate and Bill Trask are in the midst of divorce proceedings. Kate supported Bill through architectural school, but he has supported her for the last several years as she has stayed at home with the children, one of which is retarded. At issue are the family home, a difference of opinion in how to care for the retarded child, alimony, and child support. The pair’s attorneys have agreed to meet to discuss an out of court settlement.

 

MECHANICS:

Ideally this case is run as a one-on-one negotiation. However, making one or both sides a two person team can be interesting. Give participants approximately a quarter of an hour to prepare after distributing the instructions. The remainder of the hour should be spent negotiating. At least that amount of time should be spent on de-briefing.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This is a good case for exploring the alternate claims concerning financial support.
  • One of the parties in this negotiation has hidden several relevant facts, that would doubtless come out at trial. How this is handled in the negotiation provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the ethics of disclosure in a pre-trial settlement.

 

SUBJECTS:

Divorce, family, disclosure, support.

 

Trask Divorce Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
No

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.