Divorce Negotiation Rule Eight - Never Get Personal
Key Points
  • Negotiating a divorce should be looked at as a business deal. Do what is in the best interest of the parties.

There is a scene in the Godfather movie where a character is about to be wiped out by the mob. One of the henchman tells the victim that the Godfather wants him to know that it is not personal, it is just business.

Clearly, much of what is happening in the divorce is personal between the parties. It should never be personal between the attorneys, no matter how sensitive or important the issues.

Many times, this is not a problem. The vast majority of the lawyers I deal with are pleasant and many I consider friends. It is only a very small minority where it really takes an effort to maintain civility.

Nonetheless, there is no point in being hostile. In nearly 20 years of practice, I have never had a confrontational conversation with an attorney who said the following: "Gregg, I am wrong, you are right. Can you forgive me for taking such a silly position?"

A good rule: Never fight a battle when the best you can do is tie. In court, with a judge present, there is at least a chance of winning, In private discussions with the other lawyer, there is absolutely no chance. At best, there will be a standoff.

There are times where, in order to control my temper (my wife will be surprised to learn that I even have a temper), I terminate a conversation. Yet, even an abrupt termination of a conversation is preferable to saying what may be on my mind.

The bottom line is simple: You cannot settle a case if you do not talk to the other side.

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Separation Agreement Software
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Separation Agreement Software
It is very difficult to move on with your life without getting the facts in writing, like, who gets what property and who is responsible for what debt, so a separation agreement outlines the rules in a legally binding format. Once you have a signed separation agreement you are on the right path to successfully negotiating your divorce settlement.

Suggested Reading
Fairshare Divorce for Women Fairshare Divorce for Women
Fair Share Divorce for Women is the first book that gives women the support and guidance they need to safeguard their marital assets. Too often women find themselves at a disadvantage when their marriage ends and they have to fight for what is rightfully theirs.

Author: Kathleen Miller, CFP, MBA

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DIVORCE AND LIVING EXPENSES – The parents must consider the cost of living, including extracurricular activities and daycare and even transportation. Some state courts allow these expenses to be negotiated into the amount of child support paid.
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