Divorce might be the biggest financial transaction of your lifetime. With that in mind, you should develop a strong strategy before sitting down with your spouse to see if you can come to an agreement on property division. It might sound like an easy process given that California is a community property state and everything should be split 50/50 unless otherwise arranged, but the issue can be quite complicated. That’s why you may want to take the following matters into consideration before starting your divorce settlement talks.
- Your needs: There are going to be things that you absolutely need post-divorce. That might be a residence, spousal support, or some sort of child custody arrangement. These are your non-negotiable areas and can help steer your negotiations.
- Your wants: There are probably going to be certain assets that you want, too. By identifying them, you can start to formulate a strategy for how to acquire them. This might simply mean buying out your other spouse to ensure that the asset is divided equally, but it might also mean negotiating on other assets that are desirable to your spouse.
- What your spouse needs and wants: Try to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. If you can successfully do that and identify what he or she will want and need following divorce, then you can use that information as leverage to get the things that are on your priority list.
- Have the right tone: Divorce is an emotional process, and there might be a lot of negative animosity between you and your spouse. But coming across too aggressive or confrontational can shut the other side down and lead to prolonged and more costly divorce. You certainly don’t want to be a pushover, but you can be assertive without going too far.
- Know when enough is enough: In a lot of negotiations it becomes clear that there isn’t a realistic chance of resolution. Too many times, though, individuals simply give in so that they can wrap their divorce up. This can be a costly mistake with significant ramifications. That’s why identifying areas where you won’t give beforehand is important. They can help let you know when it’s time to walk away and take your case before a judge.
Have assistance navigating the legalities of your case
The marriage dissolution process can be trying on many levels. But you don’t have to face the process alone. Instead, you can have someone on your side who is prepared to make the arguments needed to advance your position so that you increase your chances of securing the life you want and need post-divorce. If that sounds enticing to you, then now may be the time to consider reaching out to a skilled family law professional.