Tips for Managing Your Divorce Settlement Negotiations

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When you've been in the midst of divorce settlement negotiations for some time and don't feel like you've made any progress, it's important to take the time to consider your role in the process carefully. Remember that you are just as responsible as your former spouse to ensure the success of these negotiations. Here's a look at a few things that you should discuss with your family lawyer about your divorce, the negotiations, and how you can come to a resolution.

Be Clear About What Matters to You

Divorce is just as much an emotional process as it is a legal one. That's why it's so important for you to approach the negotiation from a more rational, practical standpoint. Before your next meeting, talk with your family law attorney about things that still remain contentious. 

It's easy to let your emotions get the better of you and to insist on everything that you can simply to "beat" your ex. However, this stance can be more damaging than beneficial. You may lose sight of the important things and lose things you aren't ready to sacrifice.

Take time to assess each one of these things from a realistic point of view and classify them based on their importance. That way, you can focus on negotiating the things that matter the most to you, and you'll be fully prepared to offer some concessions on the things that matter less.

Find Out What Matters to Your Spouse

It's difficult to gain any kind of leverage in negotiations when you don't know what could help you gain ground with the other side. For that reason, it's important for you to talk with your lawyer about what your former spouse is looking for. 

When necessary, have your attorney reach out to your former spouse's attorney. Ask about the things that are most important to your spouse, or the things that he or she really wants from the process. That way, you can take time to evaluate those things and consider what you're willing to back down on in exchange for what you really want.

Sometimes it is easier to do things this way because it gives you the time to really think about each of those things without the pressure of having the negotiations stalled in the room while you're thinking.

Defer to Your Lawyer

Because of the emotional upheaval that comes with divorce negotiations and settlement agreements, you need to take some time to talk with your lawyer about what you can and cannot compromise on. Then, when you're in the settlement meeting, defer to your lawyer to answer questions and advocate on your behalf. This reduces your need to communicate when you are emotional, which can often cause strain and anxiety to overpower logic and reason.