When Arizona couples go through a divorce, negotiations over money are often the most contentious part of the process. Discussions over matters such as property division and spousal support can cast a long shadow, and emotions frequently run high. Family law attorneys may advise divorcing spouses to remain dispassionate if at all possible during these negotiations as anger or resentment frequently lead to costly financial mistakes.
Thorough preparation before negotiations begin is important. Spouses should have a comprehensive understanding of the household’s financial situation as well as clearly defined goals. This is especially true when complex assets such as business interests or diversified investment portfolios are involved. One common divorce pitfall is responding to aggressive negotiating tactics with resignation and a desire to settle matters quickly regardless of the outcome. One such tactic is the use of emotional leverage when discussing assets of high sentimental value.
Assumptions can also lead to costly errors, and divorcing spouses should not expect commitments to be honored unless they have been put down in writing. Waiting until the last moment to bring up an important but unexpected matter is a common negotiating tactic, and spouses may sometimes make the mistake of accepting assurances or a handshake because they wish to avoid conflict. Once again, being prepared and having established objectives is the best defense against last-minute strategies.
An experienced family law attorney may seek to help their clients to avoid these types of mistakes by preparing them thoroughly in advance. An attorney may also call upon experts such as accountants and investment advisers to develop a clear understanding of the financial situation before negotiations begin. This allows realistic goals to be set and reduces the likelihood of emotions getting in the way of their client’s long-term financial health.