Negotiation is the process of persuading others to give us what we want in exchange for something they want. When a couple’s problems lead to divorce, knowing what to say during settlement conversations with your soon-to-be ex can save you months of frustration and thousands of dollars.
The “friendly divorce” approach enables you to disarm your spouse by respecting their stand. You encourage your partner to tell their story and convince them that you understand it. Showing respect for their concerns reduces anger and distrust. It relaxes their defenses and enables you to be persuasive, sometimes without their ever realizing that you gained the ability to influence their thinking.
Despite the many benefits of a non-confrontational approach, be aware that it will not work with everyone. Some people are just too unreasonable, stubborn, or impossible to deal with. Some folks are born fighters, some are not able to compromise, and some simply can’t handle it when the law does not conform to their sense of justice. They think that what they want – and not the law – should determine what they get.
If you and your spouse are reasonable people, you have the tools to negotiate your way to a sensible divorce. You do not have to wind up with a divorce that is unnecessarily difficult and costly.