How to Persuade Your Spouse to Settle Out of Court

In a successful divorce settlement, each partner will give up something they want in order to make the settlement attractive to the other side. To do this, it is critical that you:

Start the negotiations by trying to create a cooperative atmosphere and ask your spouse to join you in making early settlement a priority. Establish a mutual understanding that each of you will allow the other to fly off the handle two times without taking it personally or reacting in kind. Anticipating the occurrence of emotional outbursts lessens their destructive power.

Explore ways of finding common ground that both of you can agree upon. Write these points down on a piece of paper and keep them in front of you on the table for both of you to see.

Use tact and try to read your partner. Wait for them to show their softer side before bringing up delicate money issues or concerns. The last thing you want to do is try to make a point or ask for something if your spouse is in a particularly resistant state of mind.

If it appears that you and your soon-to-be ex are having difficulty reaching an agreement, ask yourself (and your spouse) how much it is worth not to have to argue about the same issue(s) a year from now.

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