How to Negotiate Effectively During a Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina

Negotiation skills are essential during a collaborative divorce. Unlike a traditional litigated divorce, the various aspects of your separation are in your hands. Instead of being decided by the courts, these decisions are up to you and your spouse. The only question is whether or not you can come to a mutual agreement that both parties find satisfactory. In the end, you must strike a fine balance between cooperation, collaboration, and standing up for the most important things to you.

Negotiating effectively is much easier when you enlist the help of a qualified divorce attorney in North Carolina who has plenty of experience with collaborative divorce. These legal professionals bring considerable negotiation skills to the table, and they can utilize a number of effective strategies to help you get what you need out of the divorce agreement. Because the entire process of a collaborative divorce takes place outside of a courtroom, you need to work with a divorce attorney who is proactive and ready to take on the entirety of this undertaking. Suppose you are serious about achieving a positive outcome and negotiating effectively during your collaborative divorce. In that case, your very first step should be to enlist the help of a divorce attorney in North Carolina.

Interest-Based Negotiation Explained

In many cases, spouses work out the details of their divorce agreement with a process known as “interest-based negotiation.” This process is markedly different compared to a “position-based negotiation,” which is based on ultimatums and is typified by stubbornness. So, what is the difference between position-based negotiations and interest-based negotiations? During a position-based negotiation, a spouse might say something like, “I’m keeping the house no matter what.” This leaves very little room for compromise, and it would probably lead to an ineffective negotiation process.

In interest-based negotiations, spouses are encouraged to express their interests rather than their positions. So instead of one spouse saying that they want to keep the house no matter what, they might instead express the interests that drive that position. For example, they might say, “I want to remain in the house so I can stay in this community and be close to the children.” Because the spouse is expressing the motivation or the driving force behind their position, their interests can be met in a number of ways. For example, the spouses could arrange the purchase of another house nearby, and they could have shared custody of the children.

How to Approach the Negotiation Process

A good first step is to create a list of your most important goals or interests. You can do this on your own, with a third party, or with the help of your attorney. It is worth mentioning, however, that working with an attorney during this process could be helpful. This is because an attorney can help you phrase your goals as interests rather than positions, as this can be helpful when you sit down with your spouse and start working things out. Your spouse will also be responsible for creating their list of interests, and both parties will then bring their lists to the negotiation table.

Getting Creative

One of the best things about the collaborative divorce process is that it gives you plenty of freedom and flexibility. In a litigated divorce, the courts must follow strict, predetermined formulas and guidelines when dealing with divorces. In a negotiation room, anything goes (as long as it is not illegal). You can exchange assets, create your own unique child custody agreements, and take advantage of all kinds of different creative solutions to meet everyone’s interests.

Why Negotiations Fail

A collaborative divorce typically fails because spouses cannot negotiate effectively. Negotiations usually fail because spouses do not trust each other. This might be because spouses are bitter about past instances of misconduct, such as substance abuse or infidelity. If there is virtually no sense of trust between spouses, it becomes difficult to negotiate effectively.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses achieve positive outcomes with things like child support, alimony, child custody, and alimony. The key thing you need to remember is that a collaborative divorce can be wrapped up and finalized more quickly than a litigated divorce, and this process also tends to be cheaper. As long as you negotiate effectively, this process can lead to a much less stressful and easier divorce, allowing you to move on with your life. Book your consultation today to learn more about your legal options.