Being a good negotiator can help parents overcome objections from kids, just as it can help entrepreneurs make valuable business transactions.
Negotiation can also help you get what you want out of your divorce.
Five things you can do to be a better negotiator
Effective negotiation can be crucial whether you want alimony, certain holidays with your children or the marital home. You can focus on these tips as you navigate complicated family legal matters.
- Do your homework. Educate yourself on your marital finances, know what activities your child is involved with and discuss state divorce laws with your attorney before entering negotiations. Having this information ready can help you make informed decisions.
- Listen to the other person. Even if you hate or distrust your ex, listening to them will be crucial in a successful negotiation. Doing so helps you find common ground and identify alternative solutions from which you can both benefit.
- Know what you want and what you are willing to give up. Compromise can be unavoidable during a divorce. However, if you have issues that you refuse to budge on, establish those early on. And keep in mind that to get what you want, you may need to give up something else. Identifying these areas from the beginning can help you stay focused.
- Be reasonable. Settlements and agreements reflect more than just what you want. They must also be lawful and fair. Thus, holding on to unreasonable demands can essentially prevent negotiations from progressing, putting you at a disadvantage. Avoid this by discussing with your attorney what is reasonable in your situation.
- Be pragmatic, not emotional. If you make decisions based purely on emotions, you may not be happy with the outcome in the long run. Instead, you can take a more thoughtful and pragmatic approach to the process.
These and other negotiation tips can be immensely helpful for anyone at the point where they are working out the details of their divorce.
What happens when negotiations fail
Another critical skill is knowing when you have done as much as possible and must consider other options.
In the context of divorce, this can mean going to court. Litigation may not be what you want, but if your ex is refusing to cooperate or you are at an impasse, it can be the only way to get a decision that enables you to move forward.