During the process of separation and divorce, and for many years following you might need to negotiate certain issues with your ex. It is ideal if you and your ex can establish a working relationship, especially if you share children. If you find that you are not able to speak to each other directly, or need help resolving certain issues, you might consider hiring a divorce lawyer.
Here are some strategies for negotiating with your ex to help the process go as smoothly as possible:
- Write down your goals. One of the keys to staying focused is having something physical to focus on - keep your list of goals in front of you and refer to the list frequently
- Speak respectfully. Use clear, clean language and a calm, respectful tone at all times - if you find yourself getting angry or upset, take a few deep, calming breaths before you continue
- Prioritize. Be willing to have your feelings hurt if the result is the best interest of your child - bear in mind that often the needs of the children come ahead of the feelings of the parents
- Compromise. You are not likely to get everything you want - accept this early in the negotiations and set your priorities accordingly
- Take breaks. If you feel yourself being pulled emotionally or manipulated, ask for a break - take a walk around the block or resume negotiations another day
- Be proactive. Use "I" language whenever possible to prevent yourself from accusing or blaming your ex - those behaviors lead to defensive posturing, and that is often destructive to the negotiation process
- Listen attentively. Try to listen to your ex's position and respond in a manner that shows you understand - the more your ex feels heard, the more he or she is likely to compromise and listen in return
If your negotiations break down and you are not able to continue, speak to a divorce attorney. Your attorney can act as your advocate and protect you from emotional confrontations with your ex. Call the San Diego Law Offices of Steven M. Bishop at 619-299-9780, or contact us online.