Divorce negotiations can be scary and daunting, even if you’re normally confident and fearless. Unlike buying a car or a house, a divorce settlement has more power to impact your life – and some of the decisions are irreversible.
There are several key aspects to effective divorce negotiations. In addition to working with your Marietta family law attorney, the best thing you can do is to educate yourself about the following topics as you prepare for your upcoming negotiations.
Before you even come close to sitting at the negotiation table, you should be fully educated on your financial picture. Each party must completely disclose each asset and debt, after which they will be categorized to account for liquidity, taxes, and their ability to be divided (and under what timeframe). Here is a divorce financial records checklist to use before you start negotiations.
For example, stock options typically can’t be divided or transferred until a future date. Offsetting this type of asset for something more readily available (such as equity in a home) can be advantageous, depending on which side of the table you are on. Having a skilled Marietta divorce attorney to uncover all assets accumulated during the marriage is critical.
The next step is to negotiate from a position of strength after uncovering the intimate details of your case. Each case includes the conduct of both parties and the specifics of the marriage. Having a Marietta family law attorney you trust and can communicate with is critical to building a strong case and negotiating from a position of strength.
Knowing the weaknesses of a case is just as – if not more – important as understanding its strengths. A skilled divorce lawyer knows how to apply the law to each case. They can exploit the other side’s weaknesses to gain an advantage for you going into negotiations. In addition, being able to admit your own flaws and missteps to your attorney is critical. If your divorce attorney knows about these items, they can do their best to limit damage from the other side.
Timing can be another key factor in getting the desired result in a negotiation. For example, scheduling a mediation 1-2 weeks before a hearing ensures that the other side is under the maximum pressure.
Once you have arrived at the negotiation table for divorce negotiations, it’s important to know what to expect. Typically, divorce negotiations involve mediation in which a neutral third-party attorney serves as the mediator. That person’s role is to identify disagreements between the parties and help bridge the gap to reach a final divorce agreement.
Mediator selection can be just as important as the facts of the case. A mediation usually begins with everyone in the same room. The parties soon separate into different rooms, and the mediator goes back and forth, leaning hard on both sides to reach an agreement. Needless to say, the day can be very stressful. Make sure you are comfortable, well fed, well rested, and able to make good decisions.
Having an attorney who is willing to say the mediation is over when they recognize you’re tired or mentally fatigued is important. A good attorney commands the flow of the mediation and can take charge.
Once divorce negotiations conclude and both parties reach an agreement, the final step is to document the terms and sign it. A mediated agreement is typically in bullet point, shorthand format. The formal settlement agreement, drafted afterward, is long and detailed. The devil is always in the details. Having a Marietta divorce attorney who understands the details is critical to making sure the deal you think you have is properly captured and enforced in the final signed agreements.
At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott, you will be represented by one of our partners, not passed onto a junior associate. We take the time during your consultation to answer your questions and advise you on the different paths or outcomes regarding your Marietta divorce. Please contact the Marietta family law attorneys or call 404-793-6530 to speak with us.