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3 Obstacles When Negotiating During Uncontested Divorce

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 21-Mar-2013

When facing an uncontested divorce, at some point you will may negotiate a marital settlement agreement with your spouse. Negotiating can seem intimidating, especially if you feel you don't have much experience. Learning about some potential obstacles is a great way to be prepared for when you meet with your spouse to discuss terms.

You may not realize it, but you already have negotiating experience. Consider the time you may have negotiated a schedule change or pay raise with your boss. In addition, you have most likely negotiated how your living space was going to be arranged with your spouse. Many individuals have negotiated the price of a car or their home, even the price of an item at a flea market.

Be aware of potential obstacles during negotiations. This can help you be more successful in achieving your desired results. One of the biggest obstacles which can stand in the way of negotiating your marital settlement agreement is fear. You may feel fearful that you don't know enough and will get taken advantage of in the end.

Walk into your negotiations with your spouse having already completed your homework. Have a grasp on your marital assets, debts and other matters which may be negotiated. This will help lessen some of the fear. Visualize your meeting beforehand with a what you consider to be a successful outcome. Olympic champions have used visualization to obtain gold medals. Visualization has been proven to work.

In an uncontested divorce, many trust factors may have been compromised. Negotiating with someone you no longer trust can seem like a monumental challenge. Move forward slowly and cautiously. It's best to have some easy items to tackle when you first start. Doing this helps build trust to negotiating the more difficult issues.

When complying with the marital settlement agreement is an issue, there are a couple of ways to help ensure compliance of the terms you have agreed upon. One example could be a financial penalty for late payments – alimony, child support and so on. Also, let your spouse be aware that any false or misleading information can void your agreement, and make sure that is a part of your marital settlement agreement. Your lawyer will typically do this automatically.

Keep control of the situation. This doesn't mean that you should be a bully. Don't let your negotiations become emotional. Treat negotiations like a business transaction. Focus on the issues and not your spouse.

Don't let your spouse side track you with other issues when you are negotiating your marital settlement agreement. Stick to the matter at hand. Stay clear of blaming your spouse. You may feel better for a quick moment, but the result is an angry and defensive spouse who will be harder to negotiate with.

If you are feeling insecure about your negotiating ability, you may want to role play with a friend. Your friend can be your spouse and react like him/her to give you practice with negotiating. Also, Toastmaster's is a great way to build up some extra confidence. An internet search can tell you where the closest groups are located.

Lastly, keep in mind that marital settlement agreement negotiations are about creating and finding solutions. This is not the time to get into an argument with your spouse. Nor is this an opportunity to bash him or her for all the pain they have caused you. Keep focused on your goals and what you want to walk away with in the end.