Negotiating during your separation and divorce can be a very difficult time. When you have to communicate with your ex-partner and discuss complex issues, it may trigger emotions and bring up past memories that you would much rather move on from.
There are ways to prepare that can help to alleviate some of these difficult emotions and can keep the negotiation process on track. By preparing, you will help to ensure that your negotiations remain on the right path, that your voice is heard, that your wishes are clear, and that your emotions do not get in the way of the process.
It is important to remember that this process does not have to be awful. With some productive brainstorming and a little compromise, it is possible to leave a negotiation with most, if not all, of what you wanted.
Often times, the negotiation process becomes clouded or distorted when one or both spouses try to take control of the process. Other times things fall apart because the couple is too focused on what went wrong in the past. This can turn into a volatile he said/she said situation where nothing gets resolved.
In order to keep your negotiations on track, remember these five key points:
- Come prepared
- Have a list of your “wants” and your “needs”
- Remain calm
- Take breaks throughout the process
- Don’t be forced into making a decision
With healthy communication skills and good self-care, negotiations with an ex can be a win-win situation. Even if you don’t get everything you want, you can come out of it with your composure and peace of mind intact.