Discussing alimony can be a minefield for any couple. Whether you are parting ways due to a mutual agreement that your marriage no longer serves you both or due to a falling out of some type, it is a difficult topic to broach and discuss.
If your spouse is not dealing with you in good faith, it might be best to distance yourself and only communicate through a family attorney. It will make it even clearer to the lawyer how important it is that they reach a quick resolution so that you can start your new life away from these mentally draining altercations.
Hopefully, your spouse will try to maintain their integrity and deal fairly with you. After all, the end of a relationship is always sad but sometimes necessary for the two of you to live more fulfilling lives. People grow apart, and it is no one’s fault since it is impossible to predict who we will become over the years. Everyone reacts to life changes differently, and realizing that you and your spouse are holding each other back is a good reason to divorce and seek your own bliss as an individual.
If this sounds more like the relationship you share with your spouse, it might be possible to discuss alimony with them without fear of an argument. To avoid conflict as much as possible, figure out a strategy to help you stay on track and calm throughout the discussions. At the end of the day, the divorce will be smoother and faster the less work you give your lawyers.
Discuss in Short-time Windows
Keeping all alimony discussions to 40-minute windows means that you two must focus on the necessary details. It does not leave much room for recriminations, emotions to flare up and get upset. Have several of these short sessions so that you can always have a break in-between for both of you to cool down, think clearly, and come back with a more practical mind frame to each discussion.
Before you go to each discussion session, take some time to center yourself. Remind yourself of what is important. You are breaking free from a marriage that does not serve your best interests. There is no need to get hung up on details and devolve into fights because you no longer have a vested interest in making your spouse see your side of things.
Go in, discuss alimony, get the best deal you can even if it’s not ideal, and get out. That is the only thing that matters because your best life lies beyond divorce.
Do Not Ambush Your Spouse
You have been married to this person, and you know them well. You are aware of their triggers. Do not use any circumstances to your advantage or cause provocation. Succumbing to this knowledge might make you attack them emotionally.
It will make you the unreasonable one, and if your spouse is hurt, they might decide to step back and let the lawyers handle it. Their lawyer will not have the same sympathy that your spouse may have for your situation. You might end up with an even worse deal by going through the courts.
Leave Out Blame
Your spouse may give you an offer that you find insulting. Instead of getting angry at them, keep calm and speak sincerely about hurting you feel at their offer. Focus on how the disregard is making you feel and do not pass any opinions about what you think they are feeling or trying to do by making such an offer.
This focuses the discussion and can help your spouse to lower their defenses. It allows them to see the effect of their behavior and attempt to deal more fairly with you. If they remain recalcitrant, you know that these personal discussions will go nowhere. Leave it in your lawyer’s hands with proof that you did try to negotiate in good faith.
Make sure to practice active listening so that you can understand what your spouse is saying instead of what you think they are trying to say. Reading between the lines will muddy the waters more than it will give you any real insight. Understanding is part of the process, so you shouldn’t assume what the other is thinking. Take the time to listen to what they say.
Remember that your marriage is over. These formalities help ensure that you do not leave a mire that leaves you in a worse situation due to the divorce. Thus, it no longer serves you to focus on the differences and conflicts that brought you to this decision. Compromise and suggest alternative ideas so that both of you can free each other as soon as possible. It is what is best for you.