Going through a divorce is never a stress-free time in one’s life. Even if the divorce itself is mutual, both parties are likely looking for a settlement that is favorable to them. This is not always a win-win option that is easily attained. In some cases, the best that can be hoped for is a compromise that everyone agrees with.
There are, however, certain principles that apply to almost all divorce cases that can result in a positive final agreement. If you keep these common principles in mind while you are going through this stressful time, you are setting the stage for a faster resolution at less financial and emotional cost.
Here are ten principles that many divorce lawyers recommend in order for you to receive the most favorable divorce settlement possible.
10 Principles to Guide You to a Satisfying Divorce Settlement
No matter how mutually agreeable a divorce is, the fact is that the sooner both parties can reach an agreement, the sooner everyone involved can move forward with their lives. This does not only mean the spouses – divorces affect everyone close to you as well, and when the divorce is ugly, the pain is spread out through those who care about you.
With that in mind, there are some principles that should be followed if to keep the divorce as painless as possible considering the emotions involved.
- Remember that you will likely have to deal with your ex again in the future. Especially if children are involved, you will have communication with your ex for the rest of your lives through your kids and possibly grandchildren. The best way to ensure a peaceful future for you all is to handle your divorce with decorum and tact.
If kids are not involved, you may still have to deal with your ex through asset distribution, spousal support, or other financial aspects. Keeping the divorce civil is in everyone’s best interests.
- Come to terms with your emotions. This is not an easy time for anyone, and if you keep your emotions bottled up, they may explode at inopportune moments. Contrarily, if you leave your emotions on your sleeve, they may control your actions in ways that are not beneficial to anyone involved.
Instead, acknowledge your emotions and find a way to keep them under control. This may be through self-help, support groups, or counseling, but it is very important that you take initiative and understand that your feelings need to be addressed.
- Understand that your ex has emotions and feelings as well. There may be hurt feelings on both sides, but your ex is going through a difficult situation also and needs to work on their emotions, as well. Some of these feelings may be playing a part in their actions and requests. If you are able to acknowledge their feelings and work together to mediate an agreement, you may notice a faster compromise with less anger and hurt ruling the proceedings.
- Be open and clear with your expectations. Trust is probably an ingredient that is sorely lacking in your relationship at this point, but it is a very important key to an agreeable resolution. If your ex thinks you are hiding ulterior motives in your demands, they are less likely to agree with them.
- Get on the same page with your financials. Your ex may not understand the assets and debts that you both have together and this may cause them to have unreasonable expectations as to what they should receive out of the settlement.
Take the time to go over everything with them to get on the same page. If you must bring in a neutral third party to review your financial information together, then speak with your attorney to get this happening as quickly as possible. Visit kmfamilylaw.com if you need a family attorney to help you.
- Disclose all assets. Your financial disclosure should be complete and accurate, and so should your spouse’s. For assistance completing this or concerns regarding discrepancies, talk to your attorney and ask about the need to hire a forensic accountant to ensure full disclosure.
- Keep a tone of respect. This is especially important when you are discussing areas that your spouse may not fully understand. Instead of speaking to them in a condescending tone, attempt to work with them until they comprehend what you are saying. If you can’t do this, or they can’t, then go through your attorneys to get the point across.
- Communication is key. Even if you think your ex “should” know what you mean, or what you want, be sure you clearly communicate it. Lack of communication causes a huge amount of unnecessary work – and legal fees – in a divorce settlement and can delay the final process indefinitely until both parties are able to clarify what they expect.
- Focus on the divorce. No matter how ugly the reasons behind the divorce, your focus should be on closing this chapter and moving forward, not the person who caused it. Pointing fingers and allowing hurt feelings to dictate the direction of the divorce is never the smart decision. Instead, work through your emotions as discussed earlier, and focus on coming to a compromise both sides are amenable with.
- Look for the overall “win,” not just the win for the current discussion. Chances are you will have to find areas to compromise in to finalize the divorce. Most divorces are not 100% single-sided. If there is something you truly are not willing to compromise in, find an area where you don’t mind backing off and let your ex have their way with it. This way, they will be more likely to give in when you put your foot down on the items you really want.
Follow These Principles to a Satisfying Settlement
It’s easy to let your emotions cloud your judgment when tensions are running high, but if you keep these ten principles in mind and refer back to them during your divorce, you are more likely to have a final settlement in which everyone is satisfied with the outcome.