Ultimately, divorce is a negotiation. How well you conduct yourself during that negotiation, and how you approach the process overall, can play an integral role in securing a favorable judgment from the court or compromise with your ex.
Today, we're exploring negotiation dos and don'ts that you can apply to various divorce-related processes such as mediation, collaborative divorce, and more.
Do: Aim for Compromise, Not Competition
The more amicable the divorce process is, the better chance both parties have of getting what they want. The last thing you want in a divorce is for the final divorce decree to end up in the court's hands. If the court makes the final judgment, the divorcees have their agency removed. In a best-case scenario, both parties leave on less-than amicable terms, and neither gets what they want. In a worst-case scenario with a biased judge, one party may have to go through the pain of appealing the final judgment, dragging out the divorce even longer.
Unless one party engages in an act like domestic violence or displays a trait like narcissism that effectively makes good-faith negotiations impossible, you should always try to compromise.
Don't: Give Something up Without Getting Anything in Return
You should always try to make any exchange into an equitable trade. If your partner desperately wants to keep the family car, you should get something in return. Work with your lawyer to identify what you want from the divorce, and go after it.
Do: Present Compromises in Your Partner's Language
One of the easiest ways to get another party to agree to a compromise is by presenting it in their language. If you explain to your partner why a certain negotiation will benefit them and have concrete evidence to back up your claims, it will go a long way towards establishing your credibility.
Don't: Start a Negotiation with a Compromise
You should always start the negotiation by aiming for your best-case scenario. Then, you can work with the other party to reach a more realistic or reasonable arrangement. If you start with a "compromise," the other party may negotiate you down to a deal where you get the short end of the stick.
Do: Ask for More Time if You Need It
There's no shame in asking to sleep on a decision, especially when you're talking about assets like the marital home. Don't be afraid to call off negotiations for a day if you need some time to decompress or think more about a proposed compromise.
Don't: Show up Unprepared
The more effort you put into preparing for your divorce negotiations and developing comprehensive arguments, the better your chances of securing a favorable judgment. Work with your lawyer to understand the legality of divorce better. Have a financial professional like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) discuss how much your assets and liabilities are worth and what an equitable property division split would look like. The more information you have as you enter the negotiation phase, the better.
At Lane & Lane, LLC, we help New Jersey residents ensure they're prepared for divorce.
To learn more about our firm or arrange a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (908) 259-6673.