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In divorce, preparation is key

Divorce takes time, preparation and careful planning. For example, you have to plan the right time to file for divorce, you have to prepare financially, and you have to spend time working toward a fair settlement. And, if you and your spouse are attempting to avoid litigation, you will have to prepare for a settlement meeting.

During a divorce settlement meeting, you might address various aspects of the divorce, such as who will keep the house in Plano, how to divide your oil and gas interests out in Midland, and even which of you gets to keep the living room sofa. Because you will be dealing with decisions regarding high-value assets, it is vital that you take time to prepare for the settlement meeting.

Leave the emotion at the door

When you are sitting at a conference table negotiating the terms of your divorce, it is vital to leave emotion out of it. This does not mean you should not express your opinions or make your wishes known, so long as what you say and do complete what is essentially a business transaction. This means that the negotiating table is not the place to point the finger, blame your spouse for everything that went wrong in the marriage, or pass judgment. Instead, keep your eye on the ball and stay focused on the future and what you need for a fresh start.

Be open to compromise

As much as you might wish it, you will not walk away with a settlement where you get everything and your future ex-husband only has a dollar to his name. In reality, no one truly "wins" in divorce. You will have to give up certain things, but so will he. Stay open to compromise and be willing to listen to your ex's position and his reasons for what he wants from the settlement. If you are courteous, you may find that he will be, too.

Take a breather

A settlement meeting can sometimes last for hours and be filled with technical legal terminology. Feel free to ask questions and even take a break to get your bearings. It is important that you be 100 percent clear on all the terms of the settlement before you make it official.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to make the necessary preparations. From making a complete list of all the assets you and your husband own to squeezing in a quick venting session with your therapist before the settlement negotiations begin, there are several things you can do to make the process easier and work toward a fair outcome.

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