10 Tips for Successful Divorce Settlement Negotiations

Successfully settling your divorce is what you should strive for. Worrying about a trial that may not even happen is not an effective use of your time. Rather, preparing for these negotiations is a much wiser and more prudent endeavor. This is where the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can help. Our attorneys are sharing with you ten tips for successful divorce settlement negotiations. Want to make the most of your divorce negotiations? Good, you are in the right place.

Identify your priorities

What matters most to you in the divorce? Not only in your divorce but in your life. So many people lose focus when a divorce starts. Instead of looking at your life as a whole, your attention may be diverted from time to time. All these diversions cause you to lose any sense of purpose within the case. In short, you may wander into a divorce. However, you cannot wander out of a divorce with any meaningful goals having been accomplished.

This is what we mean by identifying your priorities. Think long and hard about what makes your world go ’round. For most parents, it is their children who inspire them to do their best even when things are not going well. Non-parents may look to their extended family, their faith, and a range of other goals. Wherever you draw your inspiration from be sure to keep your focus on those priorities throughout the divorce. There are going to be bumps in the road but keeping your eye on the prize helps to keep you even-keeled.

Stay calm and focus

When the world is losing its collective mind, be the person standing in the middle of it with your gaze focused on a firm target. By having goals you are ensuring that you do not just wander into your divorce case. However, coming up with a plan geared towards achieving those goals is an even better idea. When your spouse is getting upset seemingly out of nowhere it is time to fall back on your goals. Remind yourself why you are doing this. 

On top of that, do not succumb to your fears. Now, some fears we have are legitimate. However, many more fears are not. Learning to identify these fears is step one is developing a strategy for your case. Maintaining peace of mind is also possible when you stay calm and maintain your focus. This is challenging when your pride and other emotions are on the line, as well. Approaching the case with humility and a desire to see the case from your spouse’s perspective is rare. That said, there is no reason why you cannot be the person who takes the initiative towards a conflict-free (or close to it) divorce.

Eager to learn more about divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys are available to discuss your case six days a week. A consultation with our office is free of charge. Come in to find out more about divorce. Leave with a newfound confidence in yourself and your ability to work through the issues of your case using negotiation. 

Organize financial statements

It’s time to start getting your financial documents, files, and statements together. There are going to be financial issues in every divorce. This is true even for divorces where there is little community property at stake. Figuring out details on your home, credit cards, retirement savings, and bank accounts is essential. Do not go into a divorce without having done this preparation. Not only are you harming yourself, but you are decreasing the ability for your case to settle. 

Preparation is the key to settlement negotiations. Remember that when you are negotiating you present your side of the story to your spouse. It is up to you to prepare your arguments. This does not mean that you should be prepared to argue. Rather, you should prepare to present your side of the story in a way that convinces your co-parent to see the case your way. If not, then there should be no expectation that he or she can be convinced to see things your way. 

Statements online should be printed or at least saved in a way that your spouse can view them. Sometimes your spouse has never been exposed to these sorts of statements. In that situation do not take anything for granted. Help your spouse understand what is at stake. The better he or she sees the case as one where reasonable people can differ the better chance you have to settle. 

Consider talking to financial experts

A financial expert is a person who helps people from all walks of life organize their money. It used to be that I believed financial advisors were only for the wealthy. However, after years of practicing as an attorney, I have come to find out that financial experts are people who work alongside normal people. It is not just wealthy people who are higher financial experts. It is anyone who needs to make wise decisions about their money.

For instance, trying to decide whether you have the financial wherewithal to remain in the family home is the question many people ask themselves in a divorce. The financial expert can help you to plan. What would your mortgage payment be? What percentage of your income does that represent? Are you able to take on the responsibility of paying a mortgage like this even with other bills in responsibilities?

These are the sorts of questions that you should be asking yourself. Do not guess at the answers to these important questions. Rather, take the time to seek out an expert’s opinion. Like hiring an attorney, a financial expert is a short-term investment into your long-term future. Do not go into your case assuming information. Rather, endeavor to find out there are specifically possible the future of your finances. A financial expert is well-positioned to help you do so.

Be realistic about property division

One of the most frustrating aspects of a divorce is finding out that a major goal of yours is not within your reach. Dividing up your community estate is one of the most frustrating areas. You may have certain goals in mind at the beginning of a case. However, when you come to find out that a certain goal is not reasonable then it is understandable to feel frustrated and upset. However, that does not mean that you can afford to lose interest in your case.

The better route to take is to have a realistic attitude toward property division goals from the outset of your case. Understand that you will not be able to achieve every goal you have for your case. From there, develop a strategy geared towards accomplishing the most important goals. Talk with experts and other people who understand the circumstances you are going through. These people can guide you and provide you with reasonable goals based on your specific situation.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan guide our clients toward property divisions based on the circumstances they face. We do not set our clients up for failure by promising more than could be delivered. Likewise, we do not sell our clients short when it comes to goal setting. Rather, we assess the objectives of your situation as clearly and honestly as possible. From there, you can determine what goals and outcomes our most appropriate in your situation.

Think about future costs

Everyone knows that a divorce costs money. It should come as no surprise that there are not only costs associated with the case but also future costs because of living in separate households from your children. Child support and spousal support are two of those additional costs which are required in many situations. While you certainly love your children it is also true that the costs associated with raising them increase as the result of a divorce.

Child support is determined by taking your net monthly income and multiplying it against a percentage. That percentage is based on the number of children you have before the court. When you consider child support there’s a cost that runs through your child’s graduation from high school, at least, the costs of a divorce certainly add up. This is on top of the daily costs and health insurance that you provide your child with.

Spousal maintenance and contractual alimony are additional costs associated with many divorce cases. Being able to negotiate for contractual alimony means setting a number for spousal support to be paid in the years following your divorce. This spousal support is paid to help your spouse be able to get back on their feet after a divorce. This does not mean that you are going to be paying him or her money forever. However, by agreeing to contractual alimony you avoid the future costs of a divorce including a trial.

Open and honest communication

Communication is one of the most important skills to possess when negotiating a divorce settlement. However, there are obvious difficulties associated with communication in a divorce. Most of the time, people who are good at communicating with one another do not go through a divorce. The irony is that by communicating better with your spouse you are hastening the end of your marriage.

However, this is the exact circumstance you find yourself in. By discussing the issues of your case openly and honestly with one another it makes for a much easier transition into settlement negotiations. The greater the difficulties you find when it comes to settlement negotiations the root cause tends to be a lack of communication. When you and your spouse are unable to communicate well with one another there are options to pursue.

Working with experienced family law attorneys in your case is on preferable option. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan know how to foster open and honest dialogue between parties. We focus on the priorities of your case and do what it takes to assist you in negotiating to achieve your goals. We are laser-focused on serving you as a client. Contact us today to learn more about our law office and the services we provide to our clients.

Mediation as an alternative method of dispute resolution

When all else fails in divorce settlement negotiations, work towards mediation. Mediation is a process whereby you and your spouse agree to name a third-party mediator to oversee settlement negotiations. These settlement negotiations are formal. That means they occur at the office of a mediator and a formalized mediated settlement agreement results from that session.

Many people find that mediation is a great alternative to informal settlement negotiations. First, the mediator is typically a practicing family law attorney or retired judge. This means that the mediator has a great deal of experience working on the issues that you are going through right now. This experience allows you to tap into their perspective and learn something new. Sometimes gaining an extra set of eyes on an existing problem can be extremely fruitful.

Next, mediation forces you and your spouse to sit down together to look at an issue without any distractions. In our day-to-day lives, we are not only focused on our divorces but also on our kids, our work, and everything in between. Mediation puts you in a situation where you are in a set location for a specific period. From there, the attention to detail is magnified and settlements become much more likely.

Flexibility is key while negotiating

As we discussed earlier, it is good to have goals in a divorce. Understanding what matters most to you allows you to spend more time focusing on the important things. However, it is also critical that you maintain a sense of flexibility while negotiating. The reality of the situation is that you are not going to be able to win on every issue in your case. Try as he might, there are some subjects where there is little opportunity for you to win exactly how you want to.

With that said, there may be ample opportunity to negotiate to a middle ground. In many areas, there is a sensible middle ground to be negotiated upon. This middle ground exists for families who can find it together. This is done through negotiation. Negotiation allows spouses to find a middle ground and focus on their common goals. This is as opposed to a trial where you and your spouse are made to be combatants in the courtroom. 

When it becomes apparent that your goals are not within reach then you have a decision to make. You may press forward towards a trial. However, having the wisdom to discern the difference between these two situations is incredibly important.

Consulting with an experienced family law attorney

Having an experienced family law attorney certainly helps during this discernment process. There are countless situations where you and your spouse will be presented with opportunities to either push forward to a trial or settle your case. Sometimes it is not so clear what the best decision for your family will be. However, by entrusting an experienced family law attorney to your case you have an opportunity to gain the wisdom necessary to make good decisions.

A family law attorney does not make decisions for you in a case. Rather, a family law attorney assists you and your family by working through difficult situations together as a team. Instead of wondering about your options and guessing as best you can an attorney provides experienced input. A person with experience is not at the mercy of a person with an opinion. This means that by working with an attorney you gain a certain level of experience.

Finding the right attorney for your case takes time. Hiring the first attorney you find is not necessarily the right move. Rather, taking the time to explore all your options typically yields the best outcomes for your family. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is here for you when it comes to any questions you may have. 

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

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Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Today!

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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