Divorce can be a stressful process for anyone, but those who have significant assets can find themselves even more on edge when it comes to property division. This is because Colorado is an equitable division state, meaning that marital asses are divided in a way that is deemed fair, which isn’t necessarily evenly. This means that the outcome of your divorce can truly affect your financial health for years or even decades to come.
While you’re certainly free to litigate over marital assets, and your case might come to that, you’ll probably have the ability to negotiate your divorce settlement before heading before a judge. But you shouldn’t go into your divorce negotiations blindly. After all, your spouse isn’t going to do that, and going into negotiations without a plan can lead to you being taken advantage of by the other side.
Developing your divorce negotiation strategy
To develop a negotiation strategy that works for you, you have to put in the work to be prepared. Therefore, before sitting down at the negotiation table, you might want to take each of the following into consideration:
- Identify marital assets: This might sound like a no-brainer, but before you can figure you how you’ll approach property division, you’ll need to know which assets are in play. Assets acquired during the course of your marriage will likely be deemed marital assets, but you might also have to look for assets that you’re spouse is hiding from you.
- Know what you need and what you want: Be thoughtful when contemplating your negotiation strategy. What do you really need post-divorce? By identifying those assets, you know what your end goal is in negotiations. What do you really want? The answer to this question can also help steer your strategy.
- Know what your spouse needs and wants: By conducting a similar analysis on your spouse, you can identify areas where you might have some leverage. Be prepared to have some overlap with your spouse, though, and have a plan for how to creatively get around those roadblocks.
- Stay level-headed: There’s no doubt that divorce is emotional. But getting angry and taking an accusatory tone can really stall the process. That isn’t to say that you need to roll over and let your spouse run the show. Instead, you should strive to be assertive and firm without coming across as overly confrontational.
- Have foresight: The decisions you make during negotiations can have long-term impacts, and they might be difficult, if not impossible, to change in the future. So while your short-term needs are certainly important, you should try to keep your eye on the long-game, too.
- Know when to walk away: Although most people hope to resolve their divorce legal issues through negotiations, sometimes that simply isn’t possible. Don’t try to force a bad deal just because you want quick closure. Doing so can negatively affect you for a long time to come. So, before entering negotiations, know what your limits are and when you’re willing to walk away and just go to trial.
Get the personalized legal approach you need and deserve
Of course, there are a lot of other components to developing a strategy that is right for you, especially given the fact that no two divorce cases are the same. That’s why it might be imperative in your case to seek out assistance from a family law professional who can give you and your case the individualized attention that is deserved. Only then can you rest assured that your interests will be aggressively represented and that you’ll have the legal strategy needed to maximize your chances of reaching a favorable outcome.