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It is so important to stay level headed and reflect on your true intentions when working to negotiate your divorce settlement.  What matters the most to you now, may not be in your best financial interest in the future; and certainly, the children, if any, must take priority when making serious decisions that have long term consequences.

When you live with another person for a long period of time, it is not be hard to figure out what emotional triggers will be activated by certain items on the table in a property settlement dispute.  For example, if your spouse spent an entire year of blood, sweat and tears building and refinishing an antique desk, you can bet that the desk will be listed in his “keep” column. Most importantly, he or she may be willing to take responsibility for an outstanding marital debt, in order to keep it, because the desk holds a greater emotional value. A person who worked for one company for the past 20 years and is vested in a pension plan, will be much more reluctant to divide that in half, so he or she may be willing to give up something of even greater value in order to keep it in tact.  

 Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, because divorce brings up so many emotions, that it is easy to get sucked into the spiral of fighting over that desk or retirement account, simply because you do not want the other person to be satisfied and get something that you do not feel they deserve.  However, if you remain calm and really think things through, from this perspective, you will undoubtedly come out on top.

When you can practice is keeping your wits about you and listen to your attorney’s advice when you really feel that they are looking out for your best interest.  Also, you must realize that the passage of time may significantly change your perception of what is most important to your quality of life in the long term, so that you are better able to make lasting decisions that are sound.  In terms of lasting benefits, it is always a good practice to negotiate wisely when it comes to taking on debt; paying for college tuition; keeping real estate; and having monthly bills or insurance paid for a length of time to gain some financial freedom.  The long list of items in the storage shed that has not been opened in 15 years can be generously offered to the other side for something that will lead to your financial freedom, which is the greatest asset of all!

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