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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.
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  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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