Even if you and your spouse have not been speaking to each other after the separation, divorce brings warring couples together again at the divorce settlement meetings. It's best to be ready for this meeting so that things go as smoothly as possible. For some tips on being prepared for your divorce settlement meeting, read on.
The Settlement Meetings
Settlement meetings allow couples to discuss important divorce issues like custody, visitation, property, and marital debts. It might be a good idea to decide how you want those issues resolved and discuss the potential for fairness, legality, and success with your divorce lawyer beforehand. Being flexible, when possible, can mean everything can be accomplished in a single meeting. In some cases, compromise is in order. Be willing to give in on some of your spouse's requests while taking more in another area.
Have an agenda in mind if your divorce contains numerous conflicts. Child custody is a big issue, for example, and more time may be needed to come to an agreement. Also, keep in mind which issues are the most important for you and try to discuss those first. Stay focused and on task during the meeting. These issues can be very emotional. You are dealing with the impact of a relationship breaking up while also trying to ensure you are not left financially out in the cold. Prepare to discuss things in a non-combative manner using logical facts rather than emotional pleas and threats.
It's vital that you enter the negotiations with a clear mind. Many divorcing parties can benefit from talking things over with a therapist. If you are unable to cope with this type of meeting, you may want to have your divorce lawyer do most or all of the talking. Don't allow past issues to surface and blow away hours of good decisions and agreements. Be civil, polite, and respectful no matter how you actually feel about your spouse. Often, a harsh or sarcastic comment can ruin things just when a spouse was about to agree to one of your requests.
In all things to do with minor-aged children, keep in mind what is best for the child and not necessarily what is best for you or the other parent. If this issue were to come before a judge, they will always choose the needs of the child above the parent.
Speak to a family law attorney for more preparation tips before your settlement meeting.