Negotiations play an important role in virtually every divorce. When spouses negotiate effectively, they can walk away from their marriages with a number of important benefits. These include greater financial security, better outcomes for the children, and a more expedient conclusion. However, the most important benefit of positive negotiations is perhaps the lack of stress and resentment. If spouses are able to handle their disputes in a civilized, cooperative manner, they can end things in a fairly amicable manner and avoid years of festering bitterness. But how exactly should you negotiate during a divorce?
Do Your Calculations
If you want to negotiate effectively, you should start by figuring out exactly what you need. Review your assets and liabilities, such as mortgages, credit card debt, retirement plans, bank accounts, health insurance, and any other assets you might have. Based on these factors, you can make accurate calculations about your post-marriage life. How much do you need to live comfortably? How much of the family estate are you entitled to? Which debts must be resolved first? When you do your calculations ahead of time, you can set clear, accurate goals for your negotiations.
Understand the Importance of Leverage
Leverage is important when it comes to negotiations. Leverage can take many different forms, but it usually involves something your spouse wants (or doesn’t want). For example, they may not want the divorce to go to trial. Perhaps they want to keep certain details private. Whatever the case may be, leverage starts with a solid understanding of divorce law in Georgia. When you understand these laws, you know what would happen if the divorce went to trial. The impending threat of a trial hangs over every divorce negotiation, and it is important that you use this to your advantage in the best way possible.
Be Ready to Compromise
Contrary to popular belief, effective negotiations are not carried out by poker-faced, stubborn individuals who refuse to compromise. In fact, compromises are the foundation of effective negotiations. If you refuse to budge an inch, your negotiations will not get far. If both spouses are willing to compromise and put aside their differences, the divorce can be resolved quickly and effectively.
Use Your Feelings
One of the best negotiation strategies is to express feelings rather than specific wants or desires. Instead of saying, “I want the family house,” you might choose to say, “I need somewhere to live after the divorce.” The difference is subtle, but it opens the door for compromise without being too focused on one specific outcome. In the above example, you might not get the family home, but you could certainly get enough money to buy another home and live comfortably.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney in Georgia
Perhaps the most important step on the road to effective negotiation is to hire a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in Georgia. Book a consultation with Lankford & Moore Law, and you can immediately get started with effective negotiation strategies. We can also help you with virtually every other aspect of your divorce, whether you need to gather evidence or head to a trial. Reach out today and get the ball rolling with a solid action plan.