The way you approach divorce negotiations can make a big difference to the outcome.
Being prepared and strategic can improve your chances of success. These tips will help you devise an effective plan of action to reach the best settlement you can.
Have a clear picture of your and your spouse’s assets
Preparation is key to successful negotiations. Do your research and study up ahead of time. You should know exactly which assets are in dispute and their value. This knowledge will help you make important assessments when these items are discussed.
Know your goals and your bottom line
You should enter mediation with two scenarios clearly in mind. What is your goal? What is your walk away point? The settlement you reach is likely to fall somewhere in between.
Be ready to compromise less important assets for things you really want
Use things you don’t care about as a negotiating tool to get those items you want most. For example, you might really like the boat, but know it is your spouse’s pride and joy. In that scenario, consider offering your spouse the boat in exchange for more equity in your home.
Have your information and documents organized
Often, during negotiations you’ll want to refer to information and documents. Organization can make all the difference. Arrange your documents ahead of time so you know exactly where to find them. Consider using tabs or a table of contents.
Remember, the mediator is a neutral party
The mediator’s role is to guide the negotiations toward an agreement. To do so, she is constantly trying to determine which issues you agree about and those that can lead to an equitable compromise by both parties. You won’t agree with everything she says, but keep in mind that she is trying to understand where you stand on the issues to move the agreement forward.
Remain calm and cordial
Divorce is an emotional experience and, although mediation can help temper those emotions, the process cannot fully alleviate negative feelings. By remaining focused and calm, however, you have a better chance of reaching the agreement that is best for you.
Learn more tips for successful California divorce negotiations
Learn to be a strategic negotiator during your divorce. Contact Rebecca Medina, a Fresno divorce attorney and mediator who can advise you on effective negotiation tactics.