What to do when your spouse pushes for a ball-park number:
- When couples are in divorce negotiations, there is a tendency for everyone to want to know everything right away. At the same time we are reluctant to reveal our real thoughts because we don’t want to be held to a position until we have had time to think it through. If the other side pushes for a ball-park figure, don’t give them one.
- Instead, tell them you need more time to think about it. Dodging the question may make you feel uncomfortable, but mentioning a ball-park figure locks yourself in and gives your spouse an opportunity to whittle you down right on the spot.
Leave haggling to the hagglers:
- Making a first offer too soon or being forced into stating a ball-park figure can lead to haggling, the kind of bargaining common in Third World street markets. Haggling in a divorce is not the way to avoid divorce court.
- Some degree of satisfaction is essential for both sides in divorce negotiations, and this can only happen if both partners vent freely before tackling the larger issues and feel their views were heard and validated. Haggling won’t accomplish this and will leave one or both sides dissatisfied and, possibly, bitter.