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Mediating your divorce? Tips to improve your negotiation skills

People often say that marriage is about compromise. In that same vein, it could be said that divorce is about negotiation. Unless you litigate your divorce, you can expect to negotiate nearly every aspect of your divorce, from child custody to property division. As such, improving your negotiation skills can be of benefit to you as you navigate this challenging process.

Below are some tips that can help you negotiate more effectively when you are in mediation sessions.

  1. Be prepared. If you are negotiating property division, for instance, you should have a thorough understanding of your finances. Gather relevant documentation and have it ready for every session. This all holds true for other issues, as well, including spousal support and child custody.
  2. Know what you want, then ask for it. You have needs and things you want to happen in your divorce; know what they are and then calmly explain your position.
  3. But don't expect to get everything you want. Even in the most amicable divorces, parties typically give in on at least one or two issues, whether it's parenting time or dividing personal property. This is to be expected. Set your priorities and be willing to give on issues that may not be a top priority.
  4. Keep an open mind. Don't close yourself off to other perspectives, solutions and opinions, even when they come from your ex. Effective negotiators are often willing to see an issue from all angles and explore creative resolutions that can make it possible for everyone to walk away from the session satisfied. 

These and other tips for negotiating can help you feel more confident as you head into mediation.

One final tip for negotiating a fair, satisfactory outcome during the mediation of your divorce is to enlist the help of an attorney. An attorney can have the experience in mediation and knowledge of California family laws that you do not, and he or she can work on your behalf to pursue the results you want and deserve.

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Evans Family Law
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Long Beach, CA 90804-3399

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