Tips for Successfully Negotiating Terms in Your Uncontested Divorce Agreement in Seattle

An uncontested divorce is easier than a contested divorce, but do not think that means it will be easy. Agreeing to divorce is only the first step in the process, and there are many things that need to be discussed and agreed upon before you are finished. You need to come to an agreement over some of the most important aspects of your life now and going forward, including the following: 

Even if you think you and your spouse are in agreement on these subjects, the devil is always lurking in the details. This doesn’t mean that the process will be necessarily adversarial – the right approach can significantly reduce the potential for conflict. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to successfully guide you through the negotiation process. 

Be Willing to Compromise

It is important to emphasize that obtaining an uncontested divorce involves negotiation. Negotiation, almost by definition, involves compromise. As a result, you should enter into the process with the expectation that you most likely will not get everything that you want. Instead, there will be some give-and-take as the both of you work towards a mutually agreeable arrangement. 

Figure Out What’s Important to You and Prioritize

In order to effectively negotiate, you need to take some time to consider your priorities and goals. Which ones are you more willing to compromise on than others? Determining what is truly important to you can give structure to the negotiation process. Otherwise, you risk getting lost in the process and either wasting time arguing over things that aren’t really important or giving up others that you will regret later. We know this can be overwhelming, but an experienced divorce attorney can help you identify your goals and prioritize them accordingly.

Give Your Spouse the Benefit of the Doubt

Even when the divorce is uncontested, the process can become emotionally charged. People can sometimes react with anger or other negative emotions. These negative emotions are often rooted in fear. Whatever the cause, you need to recognize that your spouse may be struggling with the divorce even though it is uncontested. Do not immediately assume that they are intentionally trying to antagonize you. 

Acknowledge Your Own Emotions and Do Your Best to Manage Them

A successful divorce negotiation requires some self-awareness. Divorce can be a difficult process for both sides. Even the most stoic of people can feel a range of negative emotions including anger and sadness. This is normal. Make space for your emotions, but do your best to manage them when dealing with anything related to your divorce. 

Keep Communication Respectful

This is often easier said than done, but communication with your spouse should be as business-like as possible. Try to refrain from any language that could be construed as a personal attack or argumentative. This applies to communications that are not a part of the divorce proceedings and applies to phone calls, text messages, and emails. Respectful communication is effective communication. You are more likely to win your spouse over to your side when your message is communicated respectfully. 

Be Transparent

In order for negotiations to be successful, both sides need to trust each other. One of the fastest ways to destroy trust is to withhold information from the other side. Disclosing information that may be damaging will be far more damaging if the other side obtains it through discovery. Experienced divorce lawyers are good at sensing when someone isn’t being completely honest and know how to uncover the truth. 

Focus on the Issues

When your spouse is being unfair, unreasonable, or unnecessarily hostile, it is important to keep perspective. Focus on the issue rather than your spouse’s behavior. Don’t allow their misbehavior to derail the negotiation. Stay focused on achieving your goals and look for constructive ways to keep moving forward. 

Be Objective

It can be difficult to stay objective when things get emotional. A good place to start is to remember that the purpose of the negotiation process is to arrive at an agreement that deals with very practical issues such as custody arrangements and the division of marital assets. In other words, the purpose of the process is not to find emotional closure as much as it is to work out the practical details of your life moving forward. To that end, you need to be objective in your approach to the process and in the positions you take. Your position should be supported by evidence and proposals should be measured by some tangible metric.  

Consider Mediation

Sometimes a divorcing couple just needs some help in coming to an agreement. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution where the parties meet with a mediator to explore methods of negotiating their divorce and potential resolutions. The mediator does not decide the case or issue any sort of ruling but rather tries to facilitate a mutually agreeable resolution. Collaborative divorce is another option that is similar to mediation. 

What To Do if Your Spouse Is Not Cooperating

Unfortunately, there are many spouses who agree to a divorce and then find it impossible to negotiate. This is where having a divorce attorney on your side can really help. They can insert themselves into the process and hopefully diffuse some of the emotional tension. Because of their experience, they will be able to authoritatively explain the potential outcomes if the negotiation process breaks down. If that doesn’t work, then your only option is to proceed to trial. 

Contact Seattle Divorce Services for Help with Your Uncontested Divorce 

The divorce process is challenging for everyone, but when handled correctly, your divorce can be a ladder to a better life. Invest in your future and the future of your children by getting the help you need. At Seattle Divorce Services, we have decades of combined experience in successfully helping people navigate the divorce process that we can put to work for you. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us online or give us a call at 206-784-3049.