IMPORTANT QUESTIONS WHEN NEGOTIATING A DIVORCE

Here are some helpful hints to get you through the divorce process

Know the difference between what you want and what you need

You need enough income to live on, a vehicle to drive and a place to live that you can afford. If you figure out your bottom line first, then you can start prioritizing on the marital assets you want. The final settlement should be fair, so you may want to figure an estimate of your spouse’s bottom line, too. A settlement that does not ensure you both have what you need will probably get tossed out by the judge.

Come up with alternative plans and be willing to compromise

Whether you like your spouse or not, you probably have a pretty good insight into how he or she thinks after all these years. Try to imagine the scene from your spouse’s side of the table. What will be on his or her list? What solutions might your spouse suggest regarding property division, child custody and support, and alimony? Anticipate these and think about the things you may compromise on. If you begin negotiations and cannot agree to his or her suggestions, be open to brainstorming new ideas together.

Leave your emotions out of the discussion

Although staying in control of your feelings is definitely easier said than done, if you get emotional while you are negotiating, it may give your spouse an edge. At the least, it will disrupt the process and likely will lead to arguments. If you lose your composure, take a break for a few minutes, an hour or even a couple of days if you need to.

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