Developing an Effective Divorce Mediation Strategy
Mediation does not mean you give in and give up what is important to you. When approached strategically, the negotiation process improves your chances of getting what you want from your divorce.
With your attorney’s help, develop a mediation strategy designed to accomplish your goals. Consider these helpful negotiation tips:
- Come prepared. Know what assets are at stake, how much you and your spouse earn, the debts you owe, and other factors relevant to reaching a fair divorce settlement. Have your documents organized so you can reference them quickly during the heat of negotiations.
- Aim high. Start negotiations by asking for more than you are willing to accept. First, you just might get it. Also, this gives you room to make concessions with your spouse in exchange for those terms you really want.
- Remember, some property is replaceable. Do not get hung up on negotiating for replaceable items. You may be able to give your spouse the boat or the home theater system in exchange for property with sentimental or long-term financial value.
- Be realistic. You are entitled to an equitable distribution of your marital assets, not everything. A good way to keep yourself in check is to understand what a judge would decide if you were to take your case to trial.
- Think long-range. Divorce can have lifelong consequences on your financial wellbeing and the quality of your family’s life. Consider the broader picture. For example, are you entitled to a percentage of your spouse’s pension plan? What about a life insurance policy? Who will pay for your children’s college? How can you finance job training to get your career back on track?
- Put your children first. When you negotiate parenting plans, custody arrangements and child support, keep sight of what is in your children’s best interests.
- Let your advocate assist you. A qualified Minnesota family law attorney can help you devise an effective negotiation strategy and keep you focused on your objectives. Your lawyer can act as your zealous advocate while negotiating with your spouse and provide you with objective, honest insight into your rights and options.