Everyone knows that the key to a less stressful and less expensive divorce is whether you and your spouse can negotiate through your agreement. Working together for an amicable divorce is the best situation for every involved so that should be your goal. As you begin to negotiate what you want, you need to be prepared to give up some items in order to get the items you really desire.
To start, make a list of everything you want from the marriage. Be as greedy as you want right now because no one else will see this list. Don’t just write “everything” though. You need to be detailed about what items you want. Once you have your list, start at the top and think about why you want each item. If you want it because you are sure your spouse will want it, write that reason down. Again, be perfectly honest because no one will see this but you.
After you have given a reason for every item on the list, go back and cross off any item that you want simply because you think your spouse wants it. Also cross off anything that you want because someone from your family gave it to you – or at least that’s what you think. Cross off anything that you want just because you like it. Remember, no one will see your choices, especially your spouse.
Now you have a list of items that are truly important to you and those that you really don’t care if you get or not. Take this list and divide the items into three categories – must have, wants and can live without. Remember, no one sees this but you. This will help you when you begin to negotiate with your spouse as you will already know what is truly important to you and what you are willing to give up, but your spouse won’t know.
Remember that divorce settlements are all about compromise and negotiating. You will need to give up some items to get what you really want. Also consider that every time you or your spouse decides to fight over an item, your attorney will be the one who truly wins in the form of higher fees. Think about that before you fight over a piece of art that you never liked, but just don’t want your spouse to get because he/she does like it. Compromising saves you time, money and stress and should be your priority as you divide material items.
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