Are you preparing to go through a divorce and are hoping to work things out in mediation? If so, you'll need to learn how to work together with your spouse when it comes to negotiating. Here are some techniques that you can use to help reach your settlement.
Avoid A Negative Attitude
A common problem that people run into during mediation is that they are angry with their spouse. Anger is always going to lead to making poor decisions and being unable to reach agreements. That is because you are actively trying to hurt your spouse rather than work together. It will help if you just accept what is happening and move forward with the intention to work collaboratively to reach a final agreement. If you do this, you're likely to come out on the other side with more than you would otherwise.
Use Fairness To Negotiate
Your spouse likely has their own agenda when it comes to mediation, with them wanting some very specific things out of the divorce. This could be a custody arrangement that is favorable to them, the ability to keep the house, or even wanting their fair share of a retirement account. You must identify what they want so that you can use that during negotiations to get what you want.
With what they want in mind, you can use fairness to negotiate. You can hold off on giving things up until you are satisfied with what you are getting out of the divorce arrangement. Let your spouse know that you just want to be fair and find a common ground between what both of you want out of the divorce. You may be surprised at how much easier it is to negotiate when the goal is to be fair.
Use Reflective Listening
If you are not sure what your spouse wants, then you need to listen more than you talk during mediation. Allow them to speak so that they can be vocal about the things that they want. Then you should use reflective listening to repeat back the things that they said to make it clear what they are asking for. This technique helps clear up misunderstandings and allows them to feel heard during the negotiation process. This can help reduce the anger from your spouse since they know that you heard what they want to say. Now they will feel as if you will be more responsive to working with them about what they want.
If you need help with a divorce, talk to a family attorney.