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What can you do to negotiate better during divorce?

Part of divorce is negotiating with your spouse. If your spouse is willing to negotiate, it makes the process much easier. You'll need to negotiate a settlement and sort out any child custody arrangements that are necessary.

How you approach the negotiation sets the tone for the entire interaction. The initial contact is important, so it's a good idea to talk to your attorney first before going to the meeting. Your attorney will talk to you about how to address your spouse and what is appropriate in terms of a settlement.

The purpose of negotiating is to find an agreeable balance that both parties are happy with. You and your spouse need to work together until a settlement can be agreed upon. At that point, the separation agreement can go to the court.

When you go to the first negotiation session, make sure you're thinking clearly. Be logical about your demands and requests. It's a good idea to put yourself in your spouse's position and to think about how you would respond to the requests you're making of him or her.

Remember that negotiating now is setting the stage for your future. Request that your negotiations are set in a calm atmosphere where you can talk but keep the discussion professional. Keep notes and write down what you want to say ahead of time. This way, you won't forget to bring something important up during the negotiations.

Be open to discussion and advice, because if you aren't, it could make the process longer and more tedious. Your attorney can help you prepare for this negotiation session and those to come.

Source: Divorce Magazine, "The Art of Negotiation," Marjorie L. Engel, Diana D. Gould, accessed Oct. 03, 2017

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