Most divorces settle well before they get to trial, but don’t let that lead you to believe that these marriage dissolutions are negotiated amicably or that legal issues are easily resolved. While some cases are easier to settle than others, you need to be prepared with a strategy before entering your divorce negotiations.
Negotiating a divorce settlement
If you’re not prepared for settlement negotiations, then you could be taken advantage of. Consider these tips to help you get ready for your settlement talks:
- Know what is most important to your spouse. By doing so, you can identify key areas of negotiation where you might have some leverage. If your spouse wants to keep the family home for example, then you can offer that option in exchange for something that is really important to you.
- Know what you want. The key here is prioritizing. This allows you to focus talks on the things that are most important to you while protecting your future financial wellbeing.
- Start with the smaller things. Think about starting negotiations with things you and your spouse can agree on. This can help ease tensions and give you some momentum as you start to negotiate bigger, more contested issues.
- Don’t be too demanding. Taking a demanding tone during negotiations can shut down the other side and lead to stalemates. Instead, consider voicing your position in a way that comes across as amicable and cooperative.
- Leave your emotions behind. This can be hard to do, but try not to let your feelings about the divorce bleed into the negotiations. It only creates bitterness that serves to stall negotiations.
- Try to create resolutions that benefit everyone: This isn’t always possible, but there are probably situations where you can think creatively to come up with solutions that benefit both you and your spouse. This might involve ideas about co-parents or splitting certain marital assets.
There are a lot of other things you can do to make negotiating your divorce settlement easier. Every case is unique, though, so you might want to discuss the particulars of your case with a legal professional so that you can come up with the best strategy for you.