The United States of America has a divorce rate of approximately 53 percent. Among the fifty states, Nevada has the highest rate for divorce in the country, and Louisiana, the lowest. Somewhere in between, on the lower end of the spectrum, lies Virginia.
However, statistics aside, divorce is never an easy process and having to negotiate a divorce settlement with your spouse can be particularly difficult to reach when emotions are running high. If you or someone you know is currently in the process of getting a divorce in Virginia, we’re here to help.
This article contains information to help you negotiate better with your ex and make the process of getting a quick Virginia divorce a little simpler.
Let’s get straight to it!
Generally, during a divorce negotiation, you have two recognized approaches. On one end of the spectrum, you have hard bargaining that puts the emphasis on getting results by treating the other side as an adversary. This is more confrontational and shows a reluctance to concede no matter what.
On the other end, you have soft bargaining that recognizes the other party as a friend, is willing to concede, and is trusting of the other side.
Both of these are likely to be detrimental to one party or the other. Instead, put the focus on principled bargaining. This type of negotiation focuses on the problem, interests, insists on objectivity, and aims for mutual gains during the process.
1. Keep Your Focus on the Problem
A strained relationship results in intense emotions. During your marriage, you may have had various disagreements, arguments, and fights with your spouse that may have changed the way you see them. However, during a negotiation, it is always advisable to focus on the problem at hand rather than the person involved.
This allows you to be more objective, and more solution-oriented during the process. Focus instead on the bare structure of what needs to be done and how to accomplish it.
2. Put Interests Before Positions
In simple words, a position is what you want and an interest is why you want it. When you focus on positions you understand something only on the surface. Interests allow you to dig deeper and get to the heart of someone’s genuine motivations.
Expressing your interests during a negotiation, and allowing your spouse to do the same will help define the purpose of your negotiation. You will be able to understand the other side better, and vice versa.
3. Aim for Objectivity
When you try and look at the situation from your spouse’s perspective you will be able to understand their interests better. Additionally, this will also allow you to think of more creative solutions and handle difficult situations more tactfully.
Consider their emotional triggers as well as your own. As much as possible you do want to keep emotion out of the process, but do have a plan of action in the event that things get a little out of control.
When you feel like emotions are getting the better of you or your spouse, consider taking a break to let yourselves cool down. It is no good making permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.
4. Focus on Mutual Wins
Since divorce negotiations focus on interests, they allow the unique opportunity for creative solutions that maximize wins for both sides. Be sure to make the most of this and as far as possible aim for outcomes that favor the interests of both parties.
Not only does this help you maintain amicable relations with the other side, but it encourages your spouse to be transparent during the communication process.
Understand Before You Sign
Before you sign any agreements, make sure to carefully go over the terms and conditions of your settlement with a qualified legal professional. You want to ensure that your needs have been met and that you are getting a fair deal. Ask many questions as you need to and be alert when it seems like information is being withheld or omitted.
Even though you are playing fair, it isn’t necessary that your partner is. In the event that you have a confrontational or narcissistic partner, you may need additional help from a Virginia divorce lawyer who is an experienced negotiator as well as familiar with the divorce laws of the state.
Clear Communication Is Your Friend
Practice the art of effective communication in order to improve the process of negotiation. This includes active listening, adapting your style of communication to the other person, being respectful, understanding nonverbal or behavioral cues, and being responsive.
Allow your partner to speak and pay close attention to what they’re saying. Aim to understand before you formulate a response and take time to think about what this new information entails.
Talk to your lawyer about a fast divorce and prepare your approach beforehand. An effective strategy will help you navigate the process in the event that you get stuck or are faced with a curveball.
Divorce Negotiations Made Simpler
Divorce negotiations aren’t always easy, but by incorporating the above principles you can make the process a little bit easier.
Make sure to keep your focus on the problem and not the person, put interests before positions, take an objective stance as far as possible, and aim to maximize wins for you as well as your spouse.
Looking for a quicker, simpler, and more streamlined approach to your Virginia divorce? The Law Office of Attorney Michael Ephraim will give you a personalized assessment of your contested or uncontested divorce along with expert advice on your next course of action. Get in touch with our qualified Virginia divorce attorneys for an inquiry, today!