Divorce cases can take one of two paths: the path that involves going to trial and fighting over everything, or the path of negotiations, give-and-take, and potential settlement. It’s usually in everyone’s best interests to take the second path, which leads to a final agreement and the end of the divorce without a lengthy and expensive trial. But don’t go down that road without first preparing to make the most of it.
Here are some points on how to successfully negotiate your case:
- Check that you are aware of all of the facts
If you don’t have all of the facts, you can’t effectively negotiate a divorce settlement. Without knowing everything about your income, assets, debts, and property involved, your attorney will be unable to provide you with the best legal advice. Knowing the full financial picture in your case allows you and your attorney to negotiate with everything on the table while remaining informed about the financial situation. You and your spouse should exchange at least some basic discovery and financial affidavits. Depending on the complexity of the case, more in-depth discovery may be required; consult with your attorney about this. Negotiating when both spouses are fully informed of the facts is the only way to ensure an equitable and fair asset division.
- Be Willing to Make Sacrifices
It is extremely unlikely that you will obtain 100% of your desired outcome from settlement negotiations with your spouse. If you want to settle the case without going to trial, you must be willing to compromise on certain issues. However, you should also be aware of your position on these issues. Before entering into negotiations or attending a settlement conference, consult with your experienced Family Law Attorney to let them know what your bottom line is and what you are willing to compromise on when the time comes. You also know your spouse and what is important to them in this situation, and they most likely know the same for you. Both of you having this knowledge can aid in settlement when making trade-offs on specific items or issues that can benefit both of your interests.
- Keep Your Emotions Away From Settlement Negotiations
For many people, dealing with the emotional aspects of divorce is the most difficult part of the process. Make certain that, before you begin negotiating your case, you have dealt with any emotions you may have about the process and your spouse. This could entail going to therapy or simply taking some time away from the negotiating table to deal with your emotions. Allowing your emotions to control you leads to poor decisions, disregarding your attorney’s legal advice, and possibly letting the other side see what bothers you. You can’t control your emotions, but knowing how to control them when they arise so that you can make logical decisions about your case will make all the difference in the world. Furthermore, allowing emotions to get in the way can lead to the entire settlement process collapsing, which is not ideal.
- Take Care Not to Ruin Your Relationship with Your Spouse
If you and your spouse have gotten to the negotiating table, you’ve already won. Don’t let a minor squabble with your spouse change that. One disagreement does not mean the end of negotiating; it simply means that you must negotiate in a different way to reach a settlement.
When there are minor children involved, this is more likely to occur because parenting issues involve many emotions, and those types of disagreements have a way of finding their way into the larger picture of the financial negotiations. Maintain your focus on attempting to reach an agreement, and don’t let other issues cloud your judgement in the grand scheme of settlement.
Having an experienced IL family law attorney from Allen Gabe Law P.C on your side will ensure that the divorce settlement negotiations go smoothly and that you get the best possible outcome. Or speak with one of our partner New York Divorce Lawyers about your case.