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Bay Area Family Attorneys > Blog > Spousal Support > 4 Tips for Negotiating Spousal Support

4 Tips for Negotiating Spousal Support


One of the items it is possible to come to an agreement to in the midst of a divorce or separation is the issue of spousal support. When money becomes the topic of conversation, it can be easy for both sides to lose their cool and not operate at the level optimum for crafting a lasting, successful agreement. However, there are things you can do to help ensure that you walk away from the table with a settlement you are pleased with and will last the test of time.

Be Mindful of Your Emotions

You are stressed. Remember that your partner is stressed. You both need to continue living in this world, and both of you are adapting to a huge amount of change. Recognize that you both are coming to the table with a high level of feelings. A negotiation will be exceptionally difficult to accomplish if you are actively upset at one another and tempers are running high.

You cannot control your ex. But you can strive to recognize and contain your own emotions. It is not a favor to your ex – it is a favor to yourself. Help yourself get the agreement you are looking for by approaching negotiations with a clear head.

Clearly Communicate

Related to the first point – it is helpful to remember communication tools in negotiations. Yelling and accusations rarely win arguments. These tactics simply draw each participant in the argument to their own corners. Instead, clear and civil expression of feelings can be helpful.

For example, you might state to your ex that you feel offended by their refusal to pay spousal support because it makes it difficult for you to care for your shared children. That is a healthier and more helpful way of expressing your feelings and needs, and can help drive the negotiation forward in a positive way.

It is also important to encourage communication by exercising healthy levels of cooperation, collaboration, and respect in the divorce process. For example, it probably does not serve your ultimate goals to purposefully schedule settlement times on days that are horrible for your ex’s schedule. Encouraging a calm, cooperative environment will likely serve you in the end.

Keep Expectations Reasonable

Expecting to get a spousal support settlement of $40,000 a year when your spouse makes $75,000 is likely pretty unrealistic. Come to the table willing to really negotiate. You are seeking a mutually beneficial solution, not a forum to punish your ex.

Keep your Eye on Solutions

Negotiations will probably not be helped by throwing accusations of blame or using the negotiations as a forum to air hostility toward your partner. Your overall goal is the wellbeing of yourself and family. Remember that if children are involved your ex’s wellbeing should still be of pretty high consideration, for the kids’ sake.

Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young

Divorce is a tumultuous process where emotions can get the better of sound judgment, making everything harder for everyone involved. The San Francisco spousal support lawyers at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young will strive to achieve the best possible outcome by helping you reach a settlement that is advantageous to all parties. Contact our office today to see how our team can begin working for you.



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