Separation Agreement Negotiations: Golden Rules For Success-Part One
When you follow the Eight Golden Rules for negotiating and settling your family law case, you are dramatically increasing the likelihood that you will settle your case and protect your legal rights with an effective separation agreement or good settlement on the important issues in your case.
The Eight Golden Rules apply to both separation agreement and settlements.
Golden Rule #1: You Will Not Get Everything You Want
You should make a list of the important items you want in your family law case, such as your specific parenting plan, sole custody or joint custody, or a specific amount of spousal support.
You might call this your “wish list.” Your former spouse will also have a “wish list” as well.
When you are negotiating a settlement with your former spouse, you must be willing to give up less important items on your list to get the more important items on your list.
Both spouses will have to move on certain items on their lists in order to settle.
If you demand that you get everything you want on your list, you most likely never settle your case.
Golden Rule #2: Don’t Be Afraid of Taking the First Step to Settle Your Family Law Issues
You take the first step by preparing and sending a written proposal or offer to settle to your spouse.
Some spouses have a fear that taking the first step to settle their family law issues is a sign of weakness.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
How can taking the first step to settle be a sign of weakness when you know your legal rights and you are offering a reasonable proposal or offer to settle to your spouse?
If you don’t take the first step and your spouse doesn’t take the first step either, you could easily find yourself at a trial….that simply wasn’t necessary at all.
Here’s a fact for you: You are far more likely to settle your family law issues and move on with your life when you take the first step in settling your family law case.
Don’t wait for your spouse to take the first step. They might never take that step. And you can easily find yourself on the doorstep of a draining and emotionally-exhausting family law trial.
Golden Rule #3: Don’t Get Personal With Your Spouse
What can be more difficult than trying to negotiate a settlement with a person with whom you once were in a serious personal relationship with?
Nothing can more difficult!
However, it’s absolutely essential that you don’t get personal with your spouse when you are negotiating a settlement of your family law issues.
When you and your spouse are making derogatory, mean and nasty comments to each other, you simply will not be able to settle the family law issues in your case.
You must vent your frustrations and emotions before you start negotiating with your spouse.
You must view your negotiations with your spouse to settle your case as a business negotiation. You must simply keep your emotions and frustrations out of it.
In short, don’t get emotional when you negotiate a settlement with your spouse.
Golden Rule #4: Never Refuse to Negotiate
Even if your spouse is really difficult to talk to or deal with, you must try to negotiate with your spouse.
In many cases, your position on the various legal issues in your case is probably closer to your spouse’s position on these issues than you realize.
If you refuse to negotiate at all, you’ll never know how close you probably came to settling your legal issues.
In fact, even if you do not settle every issue in your case, you can probably settle some important issues simply by negotiating with your spouse during the court process.
I will discuss the four other golden rules for negotiating an effective separation agreement or settlement in Part Two of this important topic in the next blog post.
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
When you join my Free Facebook group, you get immediate access to my new Special Guide called “How To Protect Your Family Law Rights and Solve Your Separation, Divorce and Family Law Problems in Just A Few Weeks or Less“.
This Special Guide was created exclusively for members of this Facebook Group only.
Do it now, while you’re thinking about it!