Separation Agreement Negotiations: Golden Rules- Part Two
When you apply these Eight Golden Rules to negotiating a settlement or separation agreement in your separation or divorce, you dramatically increase the likelihood that you will successfully protect your legal rights and reach a settlement quickly and easily.
I discussed the first 4 golden rules in Part One of this discussion in the previous video. Please make sure you carefully watch that video
The Eight Golden Rules apply to both separation agreement and settlements.
Here are the next four golden rules you must know to solve your family law problems:
Golden Rule #5: Never Get Angry at a Settlement Proposal or Offer to Settle
You can easily get angry with your spouse when they send you a very one-sided or unreasonable settlement proposal.
You again must take the emotion of this situation. It just won’t help settle your case.
You should respond this type of proposal by sending a reasonable proposal to your spouse.
Plus, you can explain in a well-reasoned non-emotional cover letter to your spouse why their proposal is unreasonable in the circumstances of your case.
Golden Rule #6: Never Negotiate Backwards
You can really create bad faith and a nasty environment in your family law case when you negotiate backwards with your spouse.
You negotiate backwards when your settlement proposal or offer to settle is worse than you previous settlement proposal. For example, if you offer to pay spousal support to your spouse for 8 years in your first settlement proposal, you should not offer to pay spousal support for only 6 years in your next settlement proposal.
This approach practically guarantees that you will seriously anger your spouse and get much, much closer to going to trial.
Golden Rule #7: Make Full Financial Disclosure Early and Voluntarily
You want to show that you are negotiating in good faith with your spouse.
One of the easiest ways to show that you are negotiating in good faith is make full financial disclosure to your spouse early in your separation or divorce.
You should provide your recent income tax returns, notices of assessment and a recent paystub to your spouse right away. Also give copies of your documents respecting your investments and debts to your spouse.
You’ll have to produce these documents during the court process anyway; therefore, you might as well do it sooner rather than later so that you can quickly work toward a final settlement of your family law issues with your spouse.
The bottom line is that your spouse will most likely not settle your case without full financial disclosure.
As well, you should always remember that your spouse can challenge and possibly overturn any negotiated settlement between you and your spouse if you fail to provide full financial disclosure to him or her.
Golden Rule #8: Always, Always Be Prepared
If there is one theme that runs throughout this program, it’s that you must always, always be prepared when you are representing yourself in family court without a lawyer.
This especially applies to settlement negotiations.
First, prepare your opening proposal to your spouse on the various legal issues in your case.
You must leave some room for negotiation or movement in your opening proposal so that you can show your spouse that you are flexible on the issues that are less important to you in your case. Of course, you must make sure your spouse doesn’t know that you consider these issues less important to you.
You must prepare your best proposal or position on the various legal issues so that you know the final results you want in your settlement with your spouse.
Of course, your best proposal should be based on an excellent understanding of your legal rights in your particular case. You can get this understanding by having a good consultation with an experienced family lawyer in your area.
Oh, by the way, did you know you can protect your family law rights and get essential information on settling your family law issues with your former spouse with the daily indispensable family law advice and tips at my FREE Facebook group?
Go here to find out more: Durham Region Family Law Group
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Do it now, while you’re thinking about it!