Navigating a Divorce Settlement: Tips for Negotiating with Your Soon-to-be-Ex-Spouse
By Heather Baker-Mushkatel on March 19, 2013
Dealing with a divorce settlement is never pleasant business. Emotions run high, and it can be tempting to leave the whole thing in the hands of your experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer. While doing so is always an option, you may be able to save time and money and get results that more closely match what you prefer if you first try to settle financial issues with your spouse.
Talking to your spouse about who will get what in the divorce is a normal part of the process, and when done correctly, it can help you both separate your emotions from the need to protect both parties’ financial health. However, it’s wise to be prepared for some common situations that can arise during settlement talks and to handle them in the way that best protects your rights.
Tips for Negotiating your Arizona Divorce Settlement
1. When Your Spouse Demands an Answer
Ask to shelve the item until later, or ask where the two of you would stand if the “sticking point” wasn’t an issue at all.
2. When Your Spouse Wants a “Ballpark” Number
Don’t offer one. Naming a “ballpark” figure or a bottom line that you’re seeking from the divorce settlement doesn’t create a range, but a ceiling – and what your spouse will agree to may only go down from there.
3. When Your Spouse Offers an Ultimatum
Ignore it. Ultimatums often arise from stress or frustration, so simply letting them pass as if they weren’t said can defuse the tension. If necessary, you can also address an ultimatum by asking “How about I give it some thought?”
Heather Baker-Mushkatel is an Arizona native who focuses in the area of family at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. Heather also has substantial experience in criminal defense law, including a background as a public defender in Maricopa County. Heather earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. She is a highly active member of state and local bar associations who has served on several panels to educate young lawyers and law students.