Negotiating an outcome on property and parenting with your ex-partner when you are going through a separation or divorce, is hard!
But there are ways that you can make these negotiations it a little easier and hopefully have success in resolving your separation and divorce.
The best outcome for anyone going through a divorce or de-facto separation is to remain amicable without going to court for your family law matter.
Negotiating an amicable outcome as you move through your divorce or separation requires you to put your emotions aside and put your business hat on.
Positive communication is the key, but, understandably, not everyone has learned the skills behind positive communication or gained the self-regulation to use those skills in a high-stress, personal situation.
If you think that you can both negotiate your property settlement and parenting arrangements without hiring lawyers, these tips are for you.
After working with hundreds of separating couples, here are my suggestions on how you can make negotiations more amicable and successful when it comes to dividing property and co-parenting arrangements.
- That you are clear about what you want with your property settlement and co-parenting plan. There is little point in trying to negotiate if you are not prepared to say what it is you are wanting to achieve. It is important you both know where you stand and try to work towards a resolution.
- Be transparent and honest about the property pool. Trying to hide anything will only frustrate the process and could cause your matter to drag out. You each have an obligation to provide full disclosure on the property pool. If this is not done in a timely and transparent fashion and one party feels that the other party is hiding property, this can lead to family court proceedings.
- That you are businesslike and professional. It is really important that you keep calm, cool and collected during your family law negotiations. Losing your cool, getting emotional, crying, raging, being angry or using inappropriate language will not get you closer to an outcome that you want; it will only inflame the situation and make it more difficult to resolve your property settlement or parenting arrangements. If you are unable to be calm (which, at times, is challenging), then you are better off calming down before you proceed with your family law negotiations.
- Do not raise relationship issues from the past — this doesn’t help you get closer to resolving your property division or parenting arrangements. Given that we have a no-fault divorce law, where the wrongdoings from the relationship don’t have any impact on property settlements at all and parenting arrangements are based on the best interests of the children, not the wrong doings in your past relationship.
- It is important to stick to the facts and figures. Don’t make things up: go back to the asset list and work from that. If there are figures you can’t agree on, then resolve those by suggesting you find an appropriate expert to value the asset or meet in the middle of your two estimates. Or have a think about how much the difference is between your valuation and theirs and ask yourself whether it’s worth worrying about or not. Sometimes, depending on the size of your property pool, what seems like significant money will be chewed up in legal fees if you argue over it for a couple of months, so it is not worth fighting about.
Don’t forget: even if you come to an agreement, it is still really important to finalise it legally with Consent Orders for both property division and parenting arrangements. If you don’t, then you don’t have the certainty you deserve. If you need Consent Orders drafted, we offer that service at Collective Family Law. We offer a free initial appointment on 1300 225 393 and then best thing is we can help you gain clarity and certainty from anywhere in Australia.