How to Approach Your Financial Divorce Negotiations
Going through a divorce forces you to become familiar with the art of financial negotiations. All of your marital assets will be part of the division of property, and each asset must be evaluated to determine an equitable division. You also may need to determine what your obligations are towards child support or spousal maintenance. Such tasks can feel overwhelming, regardless of your experience in personal finances or business negotiations. Keep in mind these four strategies for getting through a divorce negotiation:
- Understand What You Are Worth: Your personal income and individual assets will determine what percentage of your total child support obligation you must pay and whether you or your spouse are responsible for maintenance payments. A divorce court may also consider your individual worth when determining how to divide your marital properties. Your spouse may overstate your income and assets in order to argue that you should receive less marital properties and pay more for support. You must present an accurate financial profile of yourself by determining what you are actually worth in the present and what you will likely be worth in the future.
- Know Your Wants and Needs: You should have a list of marital properties and assets that are a priority for you to obtain during your divorce negotiations, as well as a list of properties that are a lower priority or you would be willing to give up. You should not waste time arguing over properties that you do not want. Save your negotiating for properties that you identified as priorities. You should understand which properties you can concede in exchange for other properties that you value more.
- Budgeting for the Future: You cannot identify what you need during the divorce unless you estimate your post-divorce budget. You will have reduced income and assets immediately after the divorce, which may affect your ability to support yourself and your children. You can calculate your monthly income and expenses and present that information as a reason why you need certain properties or spousal maintenance payments from the divorce.
- Bring a Constructive Attitude: Divorce negotiations run smoothest when both spouses are able to cooperate. You will disagree with your spouse at times but must remain calm and reasonable. As much as you can, try to separate your emotions towards your spouse from the business that must be completed during the negotiations. You can often create a better agreement together than if a divorce court must decide for you.
Your Divorce Team
During your divorce, you need help from professionals with experience in both personal finances and divorce law. A Kane County divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers can advise you throughout the divorce process. Schedule a free consultation by calling 331-588-6611.