Negotiation Strategies for an Uncooperative Spouse

Posted on in Divorce

divorce mediation, DuPage County family law attorney, negotiating, negotiation, negotiation strategies, uncooperative spouse, spouse negotiationsThe emotionally charged nature of divorces can lead to a lot of bad blood welling up between the soon to be ex-spouses. If this happens then it can lead to one of the spouses becoming intractable and difficult with whom to negotiate. This can be especially difficult in a world where divorce mediation is becoming common, as more and more people begin to recognize the benefits of cooperating with their partner to divide up the assets. Fortunately, there are strategies available to help a person cope with an uncooperative spouse, and still move forward with negotiations.

Accept Their Point of View

People going through divorce, particularly those with uncooperative spouses, often find that their spouse’s view of the relationship varies wildly from their own. The spouses may view their own contributions to the marriage in a more favorable light, while simultaneously devaluing the other’s contributions.

While these varied viewpoints may affect how the uncooperative spouse negotiates, attempting to alter their views of the relationship will likely be a fruitless waste of energy. This does not mean that a person must actually change their views to match those of the uncooperative spouse. However, they should negotiate with an understanding of where the uncooperative spouse is coming from. This can allow the person to focus their time and energy on productive negotiations rather than wasting their efforts in attempts to change the other spouse.

Stay Logical

Another important tactic for negotiations with an intractable spouse is to stay logical and keep emotions out of the bargaining. Former spouses will often know the best ways to draw a rise out of each other. This can lead to negotiations devolving into anger and acrimony, which will prevent them from moving forward productively.

Sometimes negotiations will simply devolve into arguments. Other times they can end up stuck on minor issues based more on principle or spite than any actual desire by either side to see the negotiation go their way. This allowance of emotion to cloud the issue impedes progress and thus can make the divorce process longer, more difficult, and more expensive.

Set Realistic Goals 

A final method of moving negotiations forward with an uncooperative spouse is the setting of realistic goals. Divorces are messy processes that involve compromises even between the most reasonable of spouses. Picking and choosing which battles to fight can help make an uncooperative spouse less of a problem in negotiations.

While some people may find that ceding ground to an uncooperative spouse is unpalatable, deciding to sacrifice unimportant issues gracefully can help improve the uncooperative spouse’s attitude when a person does choose to stand firm.

If you are considering filing for divorce or have recently been served with divorce papers, seek help from a skilled DuPage County family law attorney today. Our firm can help guide you through negotiations as well as court hearings.

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