If you plan to divorce, you may fare far better and spend much less money by engaging in divorce alternative dispute resolution as opposed to litigation. Negotiating your settlement with your other spouse with no professional assistance is sometimes possible.
But, typically, retaining a Pleasanton family law attorney to help you negotiate any sticking points will net you a larger divorce settlement. Regardless, the negotiation tips listed below may help you reach resolution and save yourselves thousands in legal fees.
Understand what you want out of the divorce
What are your priorities from the settlement? Will you need rehabilitative alimony to be able to return to school for a degree to re-enter the workforce? Do you want to keep or sell the family home? Or perhaps, you are more focused on receiving a big chunk of the retirement accounts. Sitting down and weighing the pros and cons of each marital asset can help you determine which are most worth negotiating for.
Study your full financial picture first
It’s just not possible to get the most from your settlement if you are unaware of what you have financially — and what you owe. A financial adviser can assure that all revenue streams and expenses are clearly reflected.
Make the best decisions for your children
Ideally, you will carve out a parenting schedule that allows your children to spend equal time with both parents. Understand, too, that sometimes an actual 50-50 split isn’t possible due to work constraints or parent’s business travels. But that doesn’t preclude both parents having access to the kids whenever possible.
Make strategic decisions
Here is where an attorney can be particularly helpful during the negotiation process. They can help you arrive at a bottom line. But remember to never begin with your bottom line. That’s ideally where you want to end up, but the path to there can be littered with false promises and unrealistic expectations.