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Top tips for coping with family law negotiations

Top Tips For Family Law Negotiations

Your marriage or relationship is over.

You never want to see your ex-partner again but there are matters to resolve. Arrangements to put in place. Settlements to reach.

You know that Court can drag things out, cost a small fortune and bring with it more stress than you can cope with at the moment. You want to negotiate a settlement as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life.

How? Read our top tips below for coping with your family law negotiations:

    1. Think of your financial settlement as a purely business matter. We understand how distressing this time can be and how you may feel angry, hurt and worried for your future. However, allowing these feelings to consume you during negotiations is not going to help you in any way. Whilst working towards a settlement try your best to detach from your emotions and stay focussed on the practical issues at hand. Yes, we know this can be challenging, but trying to stay cool, calm and collected during negotiations will help to make the process more productive and less stressful.
    2. Clear your head. “Take a long slow breath in, and out.” There’s a very good reason we are given this advice when under pressure. When we are in a stressful situation our breathing rate speeds up and our breath becomes shallow- we may feel unable to cope and panic can set in. On an anatomical level, the body is activating the sympathetic nervous system, or the ‘fight or flight’ response. However, when we slow down the breath and breathe deeply into the belly we can quickly take the body into ‘rest and digest’ mode and switch off the stress response. We can then think more clearly and rationally, and better cope with the challenge before us. Taking 5 deep breaths before (and during) negotiations can be very powerful.
    3. Look after yourself. Your personal wellbeing has never been more of a priority. Separation and divorce can be one of the most stressful times of your life and the huge effects emotionally, mentally and physically are now being medically recognised as Divorce Stress Syndrome. It is vital that you take good care of yourself during this time. Eating well (ice cream and wine every night is not the answer), getting enough sleep and moving your body daily are essential to your wellbeing. Practicing Yoga and meditation are also excellent ways to help you cope.
    4. Am I being the best person I can be? Do you find yourself shouting and swearing when you try to discuss a settlement with your ex? Or perhaps you find yourself being cold, bitter and cruel? Despite what has happened leading up to this point, ask yourself these questions: can I take the higher ground here? Am I being the best person I can be in this situation?  If you have children, think about whether you could be setting them a better example.
    5. Remember it’s OK to ask for help. Recognise when you need legal or practical assistance, and act on it as soon as you can. Our specialist lawyers are experienced in dispute resolution and will give you the expert family law advice you need to work on reaching a settlement. Counsellors can help you work through this emotional time also. And don’t hesitate to call on trusted friends and family for support.
    6. Forgive yourself and try to let it go. Separation is not a sign of your failing as an individual. Unfortunately it is the reality for many people. About 46% of Australian marriages end in divorce. A relationship takes two people to work, and two people to fail. Imagine yourself in the future living a happy and fulfilling life, and when things get hard remind yourself that “this too shall pass.”

It is essential that you are armed with expert legal advice before entering into settlement negotiations so that you are fully informed of your rights and entitlements.  Our experienced family lawyers are skilled in the area of negotiation and can help you to resolve your dispute as promptly as possible, allowing you to move on with your life.

For more information contact us today.



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