Publishing date: September 4, 2023 | Author: Oliver White, editorial journalist
The breakup of a marriage can be one of the most difficult times in people’s lives. More often than not, once the relationship comes to an end, couples find themselves unable to settle their differences privately and will need to rely on legal support to assist with their divorce settlements. A lawyer is required when an agreement can’t be reached, most commonly in regards to money disagreements, child custody, and visitation, investments, or a dispute about property and ownership of possessions.
Getting a fair settlement can almost seem impossible and having so many other things to worry about can lead to many sleepless nights while causing extreme stress. Having a lawyer to help with the entire divorce process helps ease some of the burdens and reach a quick settlement that is in the client’s best interest. This article will examine ways to get the best divorce settlements without feeling like being taken advantage of.
Communication: As negotiations are often extremely complex, the best way to achieve beneficial divorce settlements is by transparent and open communication between spouses and their attorneys. Often communication can help clear up simple misunderstandings and help assist with a speedy and amicable settlement. However, a lot of the time, this will require communicating directly between spouses. Sometimes, due to emotional problems or a mistrust of each other, can make it almost impossible or unrealistic to communicate with a level head and proceed with negotiations. In this case, the best solution is to have an attorney speak and try to find common ground in which to grow a resolution that will form the foundation of a settlement.
Hard Bargaining: Taking a hard-bargaining approach during negotiations may seem the best strategy to reach the desired outcome, however with a “my way or the highway” attitude, this very rarely proves to be effective in divorce proceedings. It only may work if the other party is very passive and willing to give in just to be done with the process, however, in almost every case it has the opposite effect, and will lead to settlement negotiations being stopped in their tracks. Often both parties will initially try a hard bargain approach, but this will quickly stop negotiations and lead to an increased cost of time and money. The best approach is to be willing to be flexible, and transparent and acknowledge the other parties requests, then to agree in the middle of the road.
Controlling Emotions: Throughout the divorce process it can be quite an emotional time which can often cloud judgment in regards to making clear and level-headed decisions. It’s important to keep emotions in check, as losing control can result in settlement negotiations breaking down which can then lead to a significant time and cost increase as it further delays the outcome and settlement process. During particularly emotional negotiations it is wise to have the lawyer do the speaking, as they will be able to articulate the requirements and specifications and not let emotion affect the decision-making process.
Interests Bargaining: Perhaps the most important part of the divorce settlement is to not fall into the trap of positional bargaining. Instead, it is more important to focus on the interests to be achieved from the negotiations. Choosing to focus on a position, such as not being willing to settle for anything less than a certain amount of money often quickly leads to a standoff and is never helpful in proceeding with negotiations, and has the potential to even lead to a long drawn out and ongoing conflict.
Instead of focusing on an interest, such as having enough money to continue to pay rent and utilities, or having enough money to continue to raise children and cover their expenses. Shifting the focus away from a position and instead of looking at an interest provides a better place for negotiation, and also helps both parties to reasonably see the point of view of the other, and be open to some negotiation and flexibility.
In conclusion, divorce can be a truly trying time, but it doesn’t have to be done alone. It can be highly beneficial to seek the help of an experienced lawyer. As emotions and trust issues often play a part in the mindset of the divorce process, it can be difficult to progress with settlement negotiations which can leave the negotiations stalled and in a messy and drawn out process, which can lead to a significantly higher cost for both parties. To reach a quick settlement, it is advisable to let the attorney do the negotiating, allowing them not to be swayed by emotions, and help increase trust and transparency between parties. Going through the end of a marriage is hard enough, but a divorce lawyer is there to offer support, trust, and ensure the best possible outcome in a difficult time.
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