Going through the divorce process can be enormously stressful. You might be afraid of what your finances will look like post-marriage dissolution, how much time you’ll be able to spend with your children, and how the most intimate details of your marriage are going to be aired out in court.
Although you may end up litigating some of these issues in open court, the vast majority of divorce cases settle through negotiations. You may be thinking that’s unlikely in your situation given the emotions tied up in your divorce, but your attorney can help guide you through the negotiation process so that you can better position yourself for a favorable outcome without the need for nasty litigation.
How can you prepare for divorce settlement talks?
Although it may feel less formal, settlement negotiations can finalize every aspect of your divorce. Therefore, you need to approach them with care and ensure that you’re as fully prepared as possible before sitting down to hash out important divorce legal issues, such as property division, child custody and spousal support.
So, as you begin to consider how you’re going to try to resolve your divorce, think about doing each of the following:
- Identify all marital assets: Although you’ll be able to receive your fair share of the marital estate, your ability to recover what you deserve is based on an accurate portrayal of the marital estate. So, make sure that you’re taking the time that you need to identify and locate all marital assets. Certain assets, like a home, a business and expensive pieces of personal property may need a valuation to give a clearer sense of their worth, and don’t forget to look for assets that your spouse has hidden from you.
- Figure out what you need and want: Post-divorce life can be tricky to navigate. There are going to be things that you absolutely need and things that you want. Make sure that you can clearly identify those assets so that you can tailor your negotiation strategy to target those assets. Be realistic here, and make sure that you’re addressing your short-term and long-term needs.
- Consider what your spouse wants: Before heading into negotiations, you’re also going to want to consider what your spouse wants and needs. This might open the door to effective negotiation, since you may be able to use some assets as leverage to secure those assets that you desire.
- Know the proper tone: Even if you and your spouse don’t get along, negotiation can be an effective way to favorably resolve your divorce. But you still have to strike the right tone if you want to have productive conversations. It may be helpful to think of your divorce as a business transaction. This might help you keep a calm, respectful, and professional tone. You certainly don’t want to be a pushover during your negotiations, but you also don’t want to come across so aggressively as to shut down the other side.
Developing the divorce negotiation strategy that is right for you
There’s a lot to take into account as you navigate your divorce. And with the rollercoaster of emotions that you’re feeling, it can be difficult to see things clearly. But that’s why law firms like ours are here to help. An experienced legal professional can help you fully assess your circumstances so that you can develop the strategy that best positions you for success. If you’d like to learn more about what a family law advocate can do for you, please think about reaching out to a legal team that you think is right for you.