Perhaps you got to the top of your game in business because you’re a “people person” who’s good at negotiating a fair deal. Maybe clients or colleagues have told you that you’re easy to get along with and easy to talk to, two attributes which definitely promote productive negotiation sessions. These same skills can help you achieve a fair divorce settlement, perhaps, without even stepping inside a Texas courtroom.
If you and your spouse agree to mediate your divorce rather than litigate, your business negotiation skills will likely be of benefit to you during mediation sessions. It’s always a good idea to make sure you clearly understand state laws pertaining to divorce mediation, as well, especially if you have children.
Communication may be verbal or non-verbal
Just as in a business meeting, when you and your spouse attend a divorce mediation session, you’re both there because you want to protect your interests as you lay the groundwork for a future without each other. As co-parents you’ll always have a need for interaction and that interaction begins with mediation. In business or divorce, communication is a key factor to success.
You communicate through speech, but your body language, attitude and demeanor also send continual messages to the other side of the table. If you try to relax and appear non-confrontational, it may easier to negotiate a fair settlement. Cooperation and compromise go a long way when discussing child custody, business assets or other property division issues.
Negotiation involves problem-solving and decision-making
Especially if you were married for 10 or more years, the time you and your spouse spent building a household means there will be decisions to make and, possibly, disagreements to resolve regarding marital property. Questions, such as, “What will we do with the house?” or “Where should the kids live?” must be answered and agreed upon before you can finalize your settlement.
Skilled negotiation means that the two parties involved must be willing to listen to what each other has to say. If your primary goal is to keep your children’s best interests in mind and to protect your business assets, a calm and respectful discussion can help achieve those goals.
You can customize your divorce settlement to fit your needs
There’s no question that divorce is disruptive to family life. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to ruin everyone’s life. If you know where to seek additional support when needed, you and your children may be able to cope with the changes in your lives in a healthy manner that enables you to keep stress to a minimum.
A solid support network might include numerous people, including trusted friends and relatives, teachers, coaches, counselors, community support groups and legal advocates, who each have something to offer to help overcome any obstacles that arise during mediation sessions and in the months to follow as you and your children adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle.