Knowing How to Negotiate
Mediation is centered on negotiations. Some say negotiation is an art; some say it is a science. Regardless, having strong negotiation skills can really pay off at the divorce mediation table. And don’t short sell yourself, either. You can negotiate your own divorce settlement like a pro with a little patience, practice, and planning.
Since you and your spouse are making all the decisions, you will need to know how to walk into the mediation room confident you can negotiate in your favor. Using these tips can help you walk in the mediation room confident and walk out feeling like you’ve accomplished something.
Leave your (harmful) emotions at home. Emotions can be powerful. They can overrun your logic and cause you to make decisions based off of feelings and not facts. Yes, you need conviction and a certain amount of passion for sticking up for yourself, but don’t let unproductive emotions such as anger and fears guide your actions.
Come prepared, and make sure your spouse does, too. There is nothing more futile than trying to negotiate the terms of your divorce without all the facts at hand. Do your homework and come to the mediation table prepared to make educated, fully informed decisions. Make sure your spouse has a copy with all the same facts, too. Print out account statements, create a few sample budgets and remember to bring a calculator.
Learn to recognize when your spouse is fighting for a specific point for an emotional reason. Is your spouse intent on having full custody? Is he or she bent on getting the family home? Know how to recognize the underlying issues at hand. Maybe they don’t want to end up like their friend did or crave stability. This can give you leverage to offer a compromise that will address those issues while still being favorable to you.
Embrace the give and take. Good negotiators know that ultimatums and demands are poor practice. No one will bend to your will if you are inflexible. Commit that to memory and remind yourself of that whenever negotiations get tough. Also, come to the mediation table with your priorities in mind.
Get help. A mediator can’t make the decisions for you, but he or she can help you and your spouse work through the conflict that can arise during mediation. When you are at odds, a neutral third party can help you break out of your battle mentality so you can make more reasonable decisions.
If you have questions about divorce mediation, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can help you and your spouse mediate your divorce while protecting your interests. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 645-6374, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.