When negotiations hit a brick wall
Jun 14, 2019
The reality of separation and divorce is that the parties cannot usually simply walk away from each other once that decision has been made. There are things to sort out; arrangements to put in place, formalities to go through. As Family Law solicitors, we regularly see just how difficult these situations can be for those involved.
Where a break-up has been particularly acrimonious, two people may struggle to share any form of constructive conversation. In other cases, there is an obvious imbalance of power, making it a real challenge for the party in the weaker position to have their say. Another, not uncommon, situation is where two people are so fixed on maintaining their respective positions that discussions look set to break down completely (if, indeed, they got off the ground in the first place).
We cannot stress enough that dialogue is a vital part of the divorce process and truly effective negotiation requires parties to be prepared to compromise on certain things. It’s not about backing down, giving in, or ‘losing’. It’s about seeing the bigger picture; pinpointing what really matters, understanding the other person’s perspective and being smart about the points to maintain and those you’re prepared to let go.
Sound simple? It’s not. In practice, negotiations between two people often break down because they are too close to the issues. There’s been much water under the bridge, arguments, tensions, disagreements. All of that adds a great deal of complexity to settlement negotiations. It can be incredibly hard for clients to focus purely on the practicalities of untangling their relationship without bringing up things that happened in the past. Compromise may not seem possible. Negotiations can appear deadlocked.
Rest assured, every situation is solvable, no matter how entrenched the parties’ positions or how bitter the situation has become. As lawyers who advise divorcing couples every day, we know that an impasse in negotiations need not be permanent. With sensible Family Law solicitors on each side differences between a divorcing couple can be narrowed down and positive outcomes achieved. It’s just a case of the parties getting the right help, ideally as early in the process as possible.
For advice on any aspect of separation or divorce including financial settlements, please contact a member of our family department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call for an appointment on 01264 353411.
Return to News