Negotiating One-on-One with Your Spouse

Most friendly divorces are more than luck and usually require some restraint and diplomacy.

Anticipate that the two of you will not see eye-to-eye on many issues and prepare yourself to be patient. Settlements rarely happen on the first try.

When the settlement conversations begin, explain to your spouse that you will make every attempt to hear them out, even if you are in total disagreement with what they are saying.

Acknowledge that you will naturally favor what is best for you and promise that you will try to overcome this bias. Ask your spouse if he or she might be willing to do the same.

Give your partner many opportunities to explain how they see things and never brush off anything they say. What they are trying to get across is important to them, so it is essential that you act as if it is also important to you.

It is particularly important that you do not appear to have generalized their position to be only what you expected it to be.

Try to avoid any discussion of fairness. What you think is “fair” is meaningless to the person you are trying to persuade.

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