Objectives as Goals
Before entering into any divorce or separation negotiations with your former partner, you should give some thought to:
(a) What are your immediate goals – ie your goal for your meeting, email or conversation with your ex;
(b)What are your short term financial/parenting goals – for example, who is paying the mortgage over the next week / what nights per week would work for the children for overnights?
(c) What are your immediate term goals – these would normally your financial settlement and parenting goals. For example, do you wish to remain in the house or do you want to take more of the superannuation?
(d) What are your longer term goals – these are normally your post divorce settlement goals? For example, how are you going to invest your moneys wisely? What superannuation contribution do you need to make in the event that you wish to retire by 65.
When formulating a negotiation strategy, it is important to have clarity about your immediate goals and short term goals, some idea about your immediate term goals and a sense of your longer term goals. This will help you identify what to say, what questions to ask, what your walk away point is and what process of negotiation you wish to engage in (for example, direct negotiations, negotiations via email or through a counselor or lawyer or mediator).
Why do we recommend behaving objectively well?
Primarily because we believe that our clients find their divorce journey easier to navigate if they don’t have any (or many!) regrets about their decisions or actions. Regrets can be distracting from the real issues that need to be resolved, can place you in a weaker position for any future negotiations and basically make you feel bad. None of this is good!
We also know that when you are in divorce discussions with your former partner, you can give your “power” away by not acting objectively well. Time and time again we hear from our clients that they wished that they had not returned the kids late, spent money on their joint card as “this has come back to bite me”. And usually the bite is disproportionate. This does not mean that you should not make decisions that may inflame your ex – but simply that before doing so, remember to:
1. Stop and Think. What would your lawyer, their lawyer or a Family Court judge say?
2. Choose your Battles Wisely.
3. Think Strategically not Reactively.