Understanding The Legal Process

Time To Call It Quits? 4 Steps To Successful Divorce Settlement Talks

by Eli Gregory

If you and your spouse have agreed to a divorce, it's time to negotiate the settlement. If you've decided to try to proceed without legal representation, you're going to need some help getting through the negotiations. Before you sit down with your spouse to work out the details of your final settlement agreement, make sure you're prepared for the process. Here are four tips that will help make the negotiations less painful.

Find a Starting Place

When it comes to negotiating a divorce settlement, the hardest part can be finding a place to start. This is particularly true if you both have unresolved issues. Instead of choosing a hot button topic – one that is a touchy subject for both of you – start with something that you know you can both agree on. Once you have that one item that you can both agree on, it will be easier to proceed to the next item. To keep the process running smoothly, try to deal with the hot button issues towards the end of the negotiations. This will give you both enough time to overcome any animosity that might be interfering with the process.

Don't Make Decisions When You're Emotional

The last thing you want to do is make decisions about your future when your emotions are getting in the way. Being emotional during the negotiations can interfere with your ability to make decisions that are best for you in the long run. Emotions can create a situation where you agree to concessions that will benefit your spouse, but will be detrimental to your future.

For instance, if the divorce was your idea, and you're feeling guilty about how your decision is impacting your spouse, you might agree to forego your right to alimony. While that decision might benefit your spouse, it's not necessarily the best decision for you.  If you feel yourself being guided by emotions rather than logic, it's okay to take a break.

Be Gracious with Compromises

When it comes to compromise, be willing to see both sides. For instance, if your spouse makes a compromise that you weren't expecting, take the time to acknowledge it. It might create a situation where your spouse is willing to compromise on other items as well. Likewise, it's important for you to be willing to compromise along the way.

Know When It's Time to Hire an Attorney

There might come a time when negotiations shut down. If you and your spouse are no longer communicating, it might be time to seek legal advice. This is particularly true if you're being met with hostility from your spouse.

If you're trying to go-it-alone with your divorce, use the information provided above to navigate the settlement negotiations. If you run into trouble along the way, be sure to speak to an attorney such as Moore Robert G Attorney at Law as soon as possible.