It is not uncommon for couples to reach an impasse in divorce settlement negotiations. Even if you and your spouse are on good terms at the point of negotiations, there are bound to be disagreements and even moments when it feels like you cannot move forward with both parties on board. Luckily, there are strategies to move past those moments when you feel like you and your spouse are in a stale mate in your negotiation process. We will explore a few of those strategies below.
Look for Small Compromises
This one sounds pretty simple, but its simplicity does not detract from its effectiveness. Looking for small compromises (where you are willing to budge even a little bit) can really soften the negotiation process. For example, if you are willing to keep an ex-spouse as a beneficiary on your life insurance as long as you are paying spousal support, that small compromise might soften the other party enough to be able to move on from seemingly impossible disagreements.
It is especially helpful to plan ahead for the compromises that you would be willing to make rather than reacting in the moment. There are likely going to be some things that you are comfortable compromising on and others that you are not willing to budge on. If you allow yourself to plan ahead for what those things are, it will make the process go much smoother. If you and your spouse both do this, it is likely that at least one of you will be prepared to make a compromise on certain decisions, making the process much smoother when you reach what feels like an impasse.
Be Open to Creative Solutions
If you have a specific idea of how the processes will go, and you are not willing to stray from that path, you might miss opportunities for creative solutions that will lead to good outcomes for both you and your spouse. If you are stuck on one path, you might spend time digging your heels in only to realize that neither of you is getting what you want. Coming in with an openness to creative or alternative solutions to settling your dispute can make for better outcomes than you originally planned for or imagined.
Bring in a Third Party
Rather than trying to solve everything on your own, it can be very beneficial to bring in a third party who can help you and the other party move past impasses in your negotiations. This third party would be neutral in your negotiations (not advocating specifically for one party or the other), and they could analyze the situation from an objective standpoint before recommending a course of action. This person would likely be a mediator or a financial neutral. As we mentioned in a previous article, we can act as a financial neutral or mediator in your negotiations to help guide the process and make recommendations that will benefit both parties. If you already have a mediator to help you work through those deadlock moments, it can still be helpful to work with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® who can provide you with specific financial support and alternative solutions.
Know When to Walk Away
Going into negotiations, it is important to know that sometimes negotiations will break down. While it might have been your hope to avoid litigation, the court system is there for a reason. It is in place so you can fall back on it if these other strategies do not help you and your spouse to address every issue in your negotiations. If it seems like you will have to rely on the court system, try to get as much as possible settled beforehand using the strategies above so that there are only a few issues that a judge or magistrate will need to rule on.
Whether you need a financial neutral or a financial advocate to lend support on financial matters in your negotiations, we would welcome the opportunity to be a resource for you. Get in touch today to schedule your free initial consultation call.