Even if your divorce is extremely contentious, there’s a good chance that it’ll end up resolving through negotiation. That isn’t to say that the formal split is going to be amicable. In fact, you should be ready to litigate your divorce before ever sitting down at the negotiation table for settlement talks. This is the best way to ensure that you know the facts of your case and know how to best advocate for your position.
But simply knowing the facts of your case isn’t enough. After all, you can’t go into your negotiations expecting to wing it and obtain a favorable resolution. Taking this approach can leave you in a precarious financial position, as you might end up being taken advantage of by the other side.
Developing your negotiation strategy
One of the keys to protecting your interests during divorce negotiation is to develop a strong negotiation strategy. Successfully doing so requires you to address several matters, including each of the following:
- Identify what you need post-divorce: Everybody has needs post-divorce. In most instances, these needs are financial in nature, but it could be something that is utilitarian, such as a vehicle or a residence. If you can identify what you absolutely need post-divorce, then you can set the parameters of your negotiation and know when to walk away.
- Identify what you want: If you can identify the things that you want out of divorce, then you know where the focus of your negotiations should lie.
- Identify what your spouse wants and needs: The same analysis for your spouse can help you identify pressure points that need to be anticipated and strategized around. It can also help you identify areas where you might have more leverage over your spouse.
- Take the right tone: It’s easy to let your emotions fly during negotiations. You’ve probably got a lot to get off of your chest, after all. But getting overly angry during divorce negotiations can stall talks, which doesn’t benefit anyone. In fact, taking too hard of a line can lead to more contention, which means more stress and a prolonged divorce that ends up being more costly. Don’t get us wrong, though. We’re not suggesting that you be a pushover. Instead, remain assertive without playing to emotions.
- Be open-minded: During divorce talks, you might end up facing a tough situation that needs creative thinking to find alternative resolutions. Be open to brainstorming with your spouse to find an answer that works for everyone involved. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your way, and only your way, is the right way.
- Focus on priorities: A lot of couples make the mistake of advocating for a position during negotiations. This creates hard lines that are difficult to negotiate around. While you should certainly have your non-negotiables, you should also consider developing a negotiation strategy that focuses on your values rather than certain financial positions. You may find that this is a more productive approach.
Have a strong legal advocate on your side
We know that divorce is challenging on a variety of levels. You might be stressed and fearful of what the future has in store for you, but you can get through this and come out the other side stronger. To do so, though, you need to competently navigate the divorce process, including negotiations.
That’s why it might be in your best interests to have a strong legal advocate on your side who can help guide you through your divorce while developing the strong legal arguments that you need to protect your interests. If you’d like to learn more about what that kind of representation would look like in the context of your case, then please consider reaching out to an experienced and skilled family law firm like ours.