If you and your spouse are divorcing and you cannot immediately agree on issues ranging from parenting time to the division of marital property, an experienced Illinois family law attorney can negotiate a divorce settlement on your behalf. There are a number of negotiation tips you may want to consider to help you reach an amicable settlement.
Don’t Get Caught in a Battle of Wills
Remember to argue issues, not positions. For example, if you and your spouse anticipate your children attending college someday, the issue is the cost of college and how you’ll finance it, not a disagreement about whether the kids will go to state colleges or private universities. Put the focus on the issues so you keep negotiations on track.
Flexibility Key When Negotiating a Divorce Settlement
Be flexible when trying to work out the details. In the same example, you may be thinking you do not want to pay for college but your spouse wants you to commit to paying half. Rather than getting locked in a position of ‘no way’, perhaps you can offer to pay a third or make your contribution contingent on your future earnings. Whether it is negotiating tuition for the kids or trying to work out a parenting arrangement, flexibility is important when trying to settle your case.
Identify What Property You Want to Keep and Be Prepared to Trade
When making decisions regarding property, it may be that you really want to keep a favorite piece of furniture or jewelry and your spouse really wants another item. Be ready to trade for what you want if the values are about equal. When emotions are running high it can be difficult to work it out so think ahead about what is important for you to keep and be prepared to give up something in return to keep negotiations going.
Get the Easy Stuff Out of the Way Before Tackling Contentious Issues
Of course, it is typically more productive to resolve as many issues as you can before tackling points of contention, so leave the heated issues for last. Start by working through issues you and your spouse can agree upon more readily and by the time you get to the sticking points, you may succeed in working through those in the spirit of continued cooperation. If there are issues that you and your spouse absolutely cannot agree on, at least the bulk of the issues will be decided before heading to court, saving you money and time.
Hire a Skilled Negotiator
An experienced divorce attorney who is a skilled negotiator will help you to reach a fair settlement avoiding many of the common pitfalls and mistakes that can derail the divorce settlement process. If you are considering divorce, contact the Libertyville family law offices of Schleisinger & Strauss LLC for immediate assistance today at 847-680-4970.