Most people who go through divorce worry about what their finances will look like once their marriage is fully dissolved. This is understandable. After all, going from two incomes to one can be a drastic change, and the change to your standard of living may be even more significant if you forewent educational and career opportunities in order to take care of your family or otherwise further your spouse’s career.
That’s why issues like property division and spousal support are so crucial during the divorce process. The good news is that in most cases these matters are resolved without the need for litigation. However, you shouldn’t jump on a divorce settlement offer just to wrap up your marriage dissolution and move on with your life. Doing so could leave you at a distinct financial disadvantage post-divorce. Therefore, before even sitting down at the negotiation table, you need to have a strategy to approaching your divorce negotiations.
Developing your negotiation strategy
It may not seem like it, but there are a lot of things that you can take into consideration prior to divorce negotiations that can help you develop the competent negotiation strategy you need to obtain a favorable resolution. Here are just a few of them:
- What do you need? There are going to be certain things that you absolutely need post-divorce. That could be a residence, a vehicle, or a certain amount of money in the bank to make ends meet. Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear and articulable so that it can set the boundaries of your negotiations.
- What does your spouse need? Conduct the same analysis from your spouse’s point-of-view. This can help you identify areas where you may have leverage.
- What do you value most? Carefully think about what’s most important to you in your post-divorce life. Identifying these matters can set the goal posts for your settlement negotiations. Be sure to identify the ideal outcome allowing for some wiggle room to still get to a place that is acceptable.
- What does your spouse want? If there are things that your spouse really wants but doesn’t necessarily need, then you might be able to create a strategy that uses those assets to your advantage. In other words, you can hold back on giving in on those assets until you secure something that you need or want.
- What’s the proper tone? A lot of people mistakenly utilize divorce negotiations to unload their emotions. This can create a lot of tension and stress, thereby stalling settlement talks. Taking this approach will probably serve as a disservice to you. So before sitting down at the negotiation table, carefully consider the tone that you want to take. Don’t be a push over. Be assertive, but be careful of presenting as overly aggressive.
- Can you articulate standard of living? Especially when dealing with spousal support issues, determining the marital standard of living can be pivotal. Make sure that you can speak to that standard of living and what you need to maintain some semblance of it post-divorce.
Consider legal assistance in developing your divorce case
Although a lot of divorce cases result in settlement, you should go into negotiations prepared to litigate your case. Only through this holistic preparation of your case can you present the legal positions that are necessary to best position you for success. You need to know the law and how a court will apply it to your set of facts. You’ll also want to know how the court typically handles matters that are similar to yours.
Strong law firms like ours routinely help individuals address these matters. Therefore, if you think that you could benefit from that kind of representation, then now may be the time to reach out to a firm that you can trust to advocate on your behalf.