Despite how contentious your divorce may seem, statistics indicate that you’re highly likely to settle your case before it ever goes to trial. In fact, some studies show that as many as 95% of divorces resolve before being litigated.
What does this mean for you? Simply put, it means that you have to know how to competently negotiate a divorce settlement. This requires through preparation with an eye on litigation, regardless of how unlikely that may be. If sitting down at the table with your spouse puts you on edge, don’t worry. There are strategies that you can use to ensure that you’re adequately prepared to negotiate with as little stress as possible. Here are some tips to do so:
- Start with what you need: Your post-divorce life might look a lot different than your life now, especially from a financial perspective. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you fully consider what you’re absolutely going to need in the immediate aftermath of your divorce. Think about practicality and the logistics of your life. Will you need a vehicle? What about a place to live? These are items that should be top priorities for you and set the boundaries of your settlement negotiations.
- Focus on your priorities: Outside of what you need to get by after your divorce, you should focus on the things that are most important to you. That may be time with your kids or enough financial resources to ensure that you can maintain the standard of living that you enjoyed during your marriage. By identifying what’s most important to you, you can lay the framework for your negotiations and develop strategies that seek to position you for the outcome that you desire.
- Analyze your spouse’s position: Your spouse is going to be conducting a similar analysis. If you can anticipate his or her position, then you might be able to identify areas of opportunity where you can leverage the things that he or she wants to get what you want. Of course, there’s going to be times when you and your spouse want the same thing. When this happens, you may have to be willing to compromise on certain aspects of your divorce to achieve a resolution that you can live with.
- Consider your communication style: Communication is key during divorce, and if you have young children then the effectiveness of that communication with your soon to be ex-spouse can be pivotal for years to come. So, consider how you want to come across during your negotiations. If you’re too aggressive, you may run into roadblocks in achieving a favorable outcome. If you’re too passive, then your spouse may try to take you to the cleaners. Consider striking a balance by being assertive and making demands in a respectful fashion. You may find that you get similar treatment from your spouse.
Don’t’ overlook the value of preparation
Keep in mind that the tips above are just some of the tools that you can use to thoroughly prepare for your divorce negotiations. There may be other things you can do, such as focusing on transparency and diligently working to focus your divorce on issues that are important to you and your spouse, that can position you for success.
What’s important to remember is that this process can have implications for your life for years or even decades to come. With so much on the line, you owe it to yourself to be as thoroughly prepared as possible. That’s why we encourage you to be proactive in preparing for negotiations. If you’d like to learn more about the divorce process, then please continue to browse our website.