Most people think of legal proceedings as places where the two parties come in and the judge decides what to do. However, this is not always the case. Ordinary lawsuits are far more likely to settle than they are to go to trial, and the rise of collaborative divorce and divorce mediation mean that family law cases share this trend. This makes a persons ability to negotiate much more important. A divorce lawyer may be at the table to help, but understanding basic negotiation strategies can lead to much more fruitful outcomes.
Take Advantage of Different Valuations
One key thing to remember during divorce negotiations is that people have different perspectives, so two people may place different value on the same object. It pays to take advantage of that. For instance, suppose a couple owns an expensive painting and a speedboat. Those two things might be worth the same amount of money on the open market, but if one spouse loves boating and the other spouse bought the painting, then they can be divvied up much more easily.
This principle opens up two new strategies. First, if the spouses can find things that they both value highly, then they can trade them, making everyone happier. Second, if one spouse knows that there is something that they do not care about, but the other spouse greatly wants, then they can make sure to get a lot of value in the exchange.
Go in with Information
Another important thing to do before divorce negotiations is prepare. People who are negotiating need to understand what everything they are haggling over is actually worth. For things like bank accounts this can be simple, but pensions, stock portfolios and houses can be more difficult to value. Still, it is a necessary step. Otherwise, the other spouse can take advantage of the lack of information and work out a better deal for themselves.
Do Not Be Afraid to Move First
This final tip is a bit more controversial, but research bears out that it makes more sense to make the first offer in negotiations. Some people worry that if they make the first offer, they will give away their own position or start too low. That is a risk, but as long as people start with a bold but realistic offer, they can anchor the deal around that figure. That means that a well-researched opening offer can end up capturing a lot of value for the negotiator right at the beginning. There is also some concern among people that an overly-aggressive opening offer will offend the other party. This does happen occasionally, but people have a surprisingly high tolerance for aggressive opening asks in negotiations.
Many people can find divorce negotiations intimidating, but fortunately you can find support by contacting an experienced Naperville divorce attorney today to make sure you have someone on your side.