At some point in your divorce, you and your attorney will likely engage in some form of negotiation with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and their attorney. While your divorce may be contentious and it may bring-up many different emotions, it is important that your negotiation(s) go well.
While the suggestion may seem obvious, the key to a successful divorce negotiation is preparation. This begins with a keen development and understanding of all the facts and circumstances before coming to the negotiation table. For instance, you should have a good understanding of what property is marital (yours and your spouse’s) and what is separate (just yours). Are there pensions involved and which portion(s) are marital? What is the value of the pension and payout options? In order to make informed decisions about how to distribute assets, this is the type of information you need to know.
When working with your family law attorney, you must be honest and forthright about the answers to these simple questions. Even if you think the answers are negative, your attorney needs to know this information to avoid being blindsided, which can change the entire course of your negotiation. Plus, your attorney may be able to minimize or even neutralize any negative facts or circumstances.
Being prepared also means coming to the table with a comprehensive list of all the issues. You don’t want to reach an agreement, and then wake up the next morning in a panic because you left something out. Discuss everything with your attorney in advance, and keep a running checklist to go over with your attorney, if you need to. It is important to note that anything and everything discuss or disclose to your attorney, is legally confidential.
AVOID BEING EMOTIONAL
Undoubtedly, divorce brings up many emotions and a lot of them are hard to control. During negotiations when you are in the same room with your soon-to-be ex, things can get heated very quickly, leading to bad decisions and an ineffective or disadvantageous negotiation. For this reason, try to leave your emotions at the door when heading into the negotiation room, and let your attorney do most of the talking. If it helps, consider speaking with a psychologist or mental health professional prior to negotiations. They may be able to help you and give you tips you can implement to keep your cool, during negotiations.
KNOW ALL THE SCENARIOS
Before negotiating, you should have a very good idea of the worst and best case scenarios. Have your attorney explain to you the law and legal consequences of litigating your divorce, if you and your spouse do not reach an agreement. With this information in mind, you may be more (or less) prone to compromises and executing an agreement rather than going to court.
At the DiPietro Family Law Group, our divorce attorneys have decades of experience representing individuals considering or going through a divorce, and can guide you through the process. We are skilled negotiators and will work hard to reach the most favorable settlement agreement for you. Call us today for a consultation at (888) 530-4374 or contact us online.