​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Preparing to negotiate

Before you begin negotiating with the other party, you should spend some time considering what you are concerned about and what you want to happen. If there are any documents that are relevant to your dispute, you should review them. Good preparation will help you negotiate.

When preparing to negotiate, you should:

    ​Gather​​​ documents and information

    Before you start, it is a good idea to gather any documents or information you have about the problem. For example:

    • written agreements, contracts or receipts
    • letters, emails, text messages
    • notes about any conversations.

    If the problem has been going on for a long time, you may also want to write a chronology. A chronology is a list of events and the date on which they happened, from the first event to the most recent event. This will help you feel confident when speaking about what happened, and when.

    For some types of disputes, for example problems with neighbours or family members, you may not have any documents to bring.

    Understand your legal rights

    If your dispute involves legal rights and responsibilities, you should get legal advice so you can make a good decision about any agreement.

    A lawyer can give you advice about:

    • what the law is
    • how the law applies to you
    • your chances of winning if your matter goes to court
    • the court process, including how much time and money going to court might cost
    • the time limit for starting any action against the other party.

    You can also do some research about your legal rights and responsibilities by:

    For more information, see Need more help?

    Think about what you want or need

    Think about what you want from the other person. For example:

    • an apology
    • an amount of money
    • for them to stop chasing you for money, or accept a lesser amount
    • for them to return goods to you
    • to sort out the dispute so you can move on
    • respectful communication in the future.

    Be prepared to listen to what the other person wants or needs

    Think about what the other people involved may want. Will they want something different or are there things you both want?

    When you are negotiating, you may learn new information that could change your mind or help you to understand what the other person needs to come to an agreement.  For example, if you learn that time is not important to the other person, you could offer to repay the money over a longer period of time.

    Consider ways to solve the problem

    While it is important to start with what you want, you should consider:

    • are you being realistic?
    • is what you want possible?
    • what does the other party want?
    • do you want the same thing?
    • can you compromise?
    • what's your bottom line?

    You and the other party may have to give up some things if you want to reach an agreement.

    Think about what might happen if you don't reach an agreement. For example, if you go to court:

    • you may want the other party to apologise, while this could be something you agree to, a court will not usually order an apology
    • you may get awarded less money than you expect or less than what is offered in negotiations
    • you may get ordered to pay your own costs and sometimes the costs of the other party.

    Think about your 'must haves' and your 'nice to haves'. Must haves are the things you refuse to give up and the nice to haves are the things you can do without.

    It may be a good idea to talk to someone you trust, who is not involved in the problem. They might come up with some new options for how to resolve the problem.

    Don't be afraid to make an offer

    If you want to settle the problem but are worried what the other person will say, you won't know unless you try. For example, if you are negotiating with a business about a debt, such as a bank, credit union, debt collector, collection agency or insurance company, you can make an offer to pay a lesser amount. The business may agree to accept a lesser amount to settle the dispute quickly and cheaply.

    For more information, see Tips for negotiating.​