Negotiating a divorce settlement can be challenging. Unfortunately, making several critical mistakes can make the process even more difficult. There are ways that you can keep the negotiation process on track and ensure that you get a settlement with which you can live.
Evaluate Settlement Proposals
During the course of the negotiations with your spouse, there could be several settlement proposals offered by him or her. It is imperative that you carefully evaluate each proposal you receive. The settlement could impact your life for many years, and you need to carefully assess how it will before accepting or rejecting it.
For instance, if you and your spouse share a child, you want to ensure that the settlement offer for custody takes into account how unexpected expenses are handled, the child's education, and the flexibility of the visitation schedule. If you fail to properly evaluate the settlement, you and your spouse could end up back in court arguing over how to handle these things.
Factor in Social Security Benefits
If you and your spouse were married for 10 years or more, Social Security benefits need to be factored into the divorce settlement. Once you and your spouse were married that long, the lower earning spouse became eligible to receive benefits based on the higher earning spouse's work record. The benefits the lower earning spouse would receive would have no impact on the other spouse's own benefits.
If one spouse will be eligible to receive benefits based on this, it needs to be factored into the settlement. For instance, if you are the higher earning spouse, you can negotiate to have your spousal support payments reduced when the Social Security benefits start.
Do Not Overlook Mediation
Some people believe that the only way to divorce is to hire attorneys and battle it out in court. Although an attorney's help can be invaluable, spending time arguing in court can be costly. It is because of this, many couples are opting to try mediation first.
During mediation, you and your spouse do not have to work out all of your disagreements. However, it can help reduce the amount of time spent in court if you are able to reach a consensus on some issues. For instance, you and your spouse can work out issues, such as visitation and child support, in mediation. You can even rely on your attorney to help you assess all offers you receive in mediation.
It is possible for you and your spouse to get through settlement negotiations in an efficient manner. Consult with an attorney, like LaCroix & Hand PC, to find other ways you can keep your divorce moving forward.Share