Read our negotiation tips to help you settle your divorce yourselves. We’ve also included some things to watch out for that might mean you’re better off getting some negotiation support from one of our divorce coaches.
Court costs have risen and it’s no longer possible to get legal aid in divorce cases (except in exceptional circumstances). This means a growing number of people find themselves negotiating their divorce settlement themselves. It’s often assumed that everyone can negotiate, but successfully negotiating a divorce settlement can be tricky. Not only do you need to understand what the law says about dividing your finances, but you also need to keep your emotions in check.
This means dealing with the raw emotions and being in a place where you’re calm enough to think strategically and not focus on revenge, retaliation or making your partner pay for ‘wrongs’ of the past. You can check your divorce-readiness here.
Learn what triggers negative reactions in you – is there a specific point of disagreement that you and your ex have or is it something they say or do that winds you up. Whatever it is, identify it and practice staying calm when thinking about it or experiencing it. You could get a friend to role-play talking about the issue.
Do you know what the law says about splitting assets? Don’t guess, don’t rely on what happened in your friend’s divorce – find out. You can use our divorce tips page for general legal information or book a free 15-minute divorce advice call with one of our expert divorce coaches.
…but accept you won’t get everything. Work out what you need. Think about what this leaves your partner with – a successful settlement has to work for both of you. Brainstorm or generate ideas and options before being too narrowly focused on one thing or becoming emtrenched.
Everybody knows that its as much about how you say something as what the message contains that makes it successful. Use simple language, short sentences. Don’t tell someone what you’re not going to do or not going to accept… talk about what’s possible, what’s acceptable. Buy yourself time with the phrase ‘I’ll need some time to consider your proposal properly’. ‘What if’ is a great opener, and ‘what else’ (are you prepered to consider/offer) a great follow-up.
There may be some times when the negotiation playing field is too uneven for you to effectively mange a divorce setttlement yourselves. Maybe one of you is a much stronger negotatior because of their job. Or maybe one of you is in a more powerful position. In these circumstances, we recomend getting negotiation support. This ensures the person in the weaker position is protected. Here are some signs you need supported negotiation: