A lot of people think that their divorce is going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight. Although some marriage dissolution cases end up in high-conflict litigation, the majority of them resolve through divorce settlement negotiations. Therefore, as you proceed with your case, you’ll want to ensure that you’re developing the negotiation strategy that best positions you for a favorable outcome. Here are a few steps you can take to help you do that:
- Know your non-negotiables: There are probably some assets that you absolutely need post-divorce. A place to live, a car to drive, and some cash on hand to get by are probably amongst them. Make sure that you can articulate these needs so that you know the boundaries of your negotiations and when you need to walk away.
- Know what your spouse needs and wants: If you can identify this, then you’ll be able to spot areas of opportunity where you can use certain assets as leverage to get what you want.
- Be respectful: The divorce process is oftentimes emotionally charged, which can make it hard to sit down with your spouse to negotiate settlement. But coming across too aggressively can shut down talks, stall the process, and lead to more costs. So, it may be best to be firm and direct while remaining respectful.
- Focus on values rather than assets: We know that the property division process is about dividing assets, but it’s sometimes easier to talk to your spouse about what each of you wants for the future rather than breaking it down to figures from the start. This can help provide guidance as you navigate the property division process and give some more meaning to the dissolution itself.
Develop the legal strategy that is right for you
Although settlement negotiations are meant to avoid the need for litigation, you really should sit down at the negotiation table ready for trial. Only then will you have a full understanding of the facts surrounding your case and how best to use them to your advantage. If you’d like to learn more about how to go about doing that, then we encourage you to reach out to a legal team that will know how to advocate for your best interests.