If you’re going through a divorce, then your brain is probably running a mile a minute. You might be worried about how much time you’re going to have with your kids, where you’ll live, and how you’ll make ends meet. And the uncertainty of it all can be overwhelming.
As stressful as that can be, the good news is that you can take control of the situation to a large extent. One way to do so is to adequately prepare for settlement negotiations. After all, the vast majority of divorce cases end up resolved without the need for trial. You don’t want to enter the negotiation process unprepared. If you do, then you’re likely to be subjected to an outcome that isn’t advantageous for you.
How do you prepare for negotiations?
Before sitting down at the negotiation table, you need to carefully think through every aspect of your case. Here are some strategic points that you’ll want to consider:
- What do you need post-divorce? First, focus on your immediate needs. Do you have somewhere to live? Do you have enough cash on hand to get by? Do you have a vehicle to get to work? These sorts of questions can help sound the boundaries of your negotiation strategy.
- What do you want? Carefully consider what it is that you want most out of your divorce. Is it to maximize time with your children? Is it to secure financial support while you focus on furthering your education or securing a career? The answers to these questions will help you steer the direction of your negotiations.
- What’s your spouse going to be requesting? Once you’ve analyzed your position, think about what it is that your spouse is going to need and want. Armed with this information, you can develop a strategy that leverages your position to hopefully get what you want.
- What are your long-term goals? It’s easy to get caught up in your immediate needs. But it’s critical that you also consider what you need long-term to secure your financial stability. Therefore, even though fighting for the family home might seem like the right thing to do, you’ll want to consider whether you can handle the mortgage and upkeep on your sole income. It might be better for you to negotiate your fair share of retirement and other investment accounts.
- What approach should you take? Your negotiations probably aren’t going to go anywhere if you approach them with animosity and view them as an opportunity to unload emotional baggage. That’s why you’ll want to focus on being respectful and even business-like as you navigate this process. If you can do so and work collaboratively to find common ground, then you might find that it’s easier to get what you want.
That isn’t to say that you should let your spouse steamroll you into an agreement that you don’t support. You can remain assertive while still working to find a resolution that is agreeable to both parties. If you can’t, then you can be prepared for litigation.
Crafting the legal strategy that’s right for you
There are a lot of ways that you can approach your divorce. But you need a custom-tailored strategy that is right for you and your children. That’s why you might benefit from the individual attention offered by family law-focused law firms.