When you come to the collaborative table, what are your goals? Do you want what is fair, what is just, what you are “legally entitled to,” and/or what you believe you “have coming to you?” Are you negotiating out of anger, abandonment, and fear? Are you capable of seeing anyone’s needs but your own? Is your goal in advocating for a particular outcome to punish, to teach a lesson, to get back at the person who hurt you?
A lasting peace comes from digging down and discovering your personal values, interests, and needs. Good collaborative attorneys and coaches guide you and your spouse through that discovery process. We ask you to talk about the “why” of what you want in order to help you find the interest behind the position. That is the heart of collaborative negotiation.
A truly collaborative process and agreement requires divorcing spouses to reach a place of mutual respect. Mutual respect isn’t created in a day. Filing for divorce is a relationship low-point. Climbing back to mutual respect takes effort. At first, you probably find it difficult to find self-respect, to say nothing of mutual respect. You will make it. I takes time. Have faith in yourself.
Set your sights higher than fair
What is “fair” is in the eye of the beholder. Set your sights higher than “fair;” set your sights on an agreement consistent with your core personal values. Those are the agreements that stand the test of time.
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