When you think of divorce, you may imagine a nasty court case filled with screaming and tears. But it does not necessarily have to be that way. When ending your marriage, you do not have to take the route of revenge. You can take the mature route and opt for an amicable divorce.
This means you can avoid the courtroom drama and work with your spouse to negotiate a divorce settlement. It may seem difficult and it can be quite the challenge, especially if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye on many things, but it is possible.
A settlement allows you and your spouse to both get what you want, to some degree. You will have to compromise a little, but settling can be the best route. It saves money and time and results in less stress.
Settling with your spouse is the preferred route, especially if you have children. An amicable divorce is best for all involved. By learning as much as you can about negotiating a divorce settlement, you and your spouse can divide all your assets with ease.
What Does a Divorce Settlement Do?
A divorce settlement serves as a legal road map that the spouses must follow by law. The divorce settlement can be as detailed as you like, but keep in mind that all details need to be adhered to by both parties. If the divorce settlement contains details about splitting certain items, that property division is legally binding.
The divorce settlement will include details about splitting all financial assets, including:
- Retirement accounts
- Social security benefits
- Veterans benefits
- Real estate
- Other equities and investments
The divorce settlement is a legal document that not only lists your assets but also includes:
- Terms of the divorce
- Child support
- Information about the custody and visitation schedule (if you have children)
Before you get to the stage of negotiating a settlement, you should have an idea of what to ask for. You and your spouse should both be knowledgeable of all the assets. Before signing a divorce settlement, make sure to have an honest discussion with your spouse. Make sure you know exactly what assets are available and what you can receive. Once a divorce settlement is signed, you will not be able to modify it if assets are discovered at a later date.
Work closely with your lawyer when negotiating a settlement. Your lawyer can also help you decide what to ask for in the settlement.
Tips for Negotiation
Ready to start negotiating on a settlement? Here are some tips to help:
- Start with alimony. If your spouse was the breadwinner and you were married a long time, you may qualify for alimony. Alimony provides you with monthly payments to help with expenses. While Florida no longer offers permanent alimony, there are still four other types you could receive. They last various amounts of time, based on your education, work experience, and financial situation.
- Discuss the children. If you have children, you will need to work out a custody and visitation agreement. What does a custody schedule look like? Who gets the kids on certain holidays? Discuss considerations such as travel. Who will make major decisions for the children? Once you are done discussing everything, you should give a proposal to the court.
- Sit down together. To effectively negotiate a divorce settlement, you need to sit down with your spouse and work out a deal. Review what each of you wants. What are some things you can compromise on? Do not be afraid to barter. There needs to be some give and take. You will not be able to get everything you want, but you should both get a fair outcome.
- Discuss other possessions. Besides money and the children, you and your spouse should come to an agreement on the other marital assets, such as pets, cars, houses, furniture, collections, artwork, and heirlooms. These items are often overlooked and cause significant roadblocks in a divorce. Be sure to discuss what you want and what you are willing to part with.
- Communication effectively. What you say and what you do not say can make or break the game when it comes to a divorce settlement. Do not play games with your spouse or beat around the bush. Be sure to communicate effectively. Express yourself clearly and make sure your spouse understands what concerns you have.
- Get a lawyer. Negotiating with a spouse you are about to divorce is not an easy task. It may be hard trying to reach an agreement on certain things. You may have questions or concerns about certain things. You may need some advice about negotiating. This is when having a lawyer comes in handy. Your lawyer can give you tips on how to negotiate and ensure you get a fair outcome. If you have come to an agreement with your spouse, your lawyer can review your settlement and ensure you are not being taken advantage of.
Seek Legal Help
In a divorce, negotiation is key. While you may want to seek revenge on your spouse, being combative and forcing your case to go to court delays the process and costs more money.
Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you with negotiations so you get the settlement and outcome you desire. We have 30+ years of experience dealing with all sorts of divorce issues. Schedule a consultation with our office today by calling (954) 346-6464 or filling out the online form.