Negotiation Is A Learned Skill

Mediation: How To Be Effective During The Negotiation Process

It's best to negotiate using facts, not feelings.

If you are going through a divorce and have opted to use mediation as a form of dispute resolution, you will benefit from knowing how to be an effective negotiator. Utilizing these skills will assist in reaching mutually beneficial agreements. It’s important to note, that while divorce is a highly emotional experience, you will always benefit from rational thinking. An effective negotiator knows how to separate the people from the problems. Follow these steps to improve your negotiating skills in order to discover options that will satisfy both parties.

Your Role in the Negotiation Process

During the negotiation process, your role is to be open and honest, to abide by the ground rules established by the meditator so that you communicate effectively. You will need to try to understand the other party’s point of view; however, you do not need to agree with that perspective. You will need to speak up and be an active participant in the mediation process with a lot of the work being done upfront without jumping to potential solutions. You are more likely to be successful if you are able to effectively communicate your interest, needs, wants, concerns and fears instead of focusing on your position on any one issue.

Negotiate with Objective Criteria

This means negotiating on the merits of the problem, and not the qualities of the other party. If you are having a hard time reaching an agreeable solution on one issue it may be time to compromise. If you and your ex are negotiating who will keep certain assets from the home, use facts and reason. For example, your ex wants to keep all three of the vehicles and give you all the appliances, but you need a vehicle and already have a new fridge and oven. It’s easy to assume your ex is doing this to get back at you and make life difficult. However, dwelling on these emotions will not help reach an agreement. In this circumstance, your objective criteria may be that you need a car to get to work every day, and your ex, who just bought a home, needs a fridge and stove. Since you would both be required to purchase these items, it makes sense to split them in a manner that allows each party to benefit.

Know How to Handle Objections to Your Offers

It’s a good idea to anticipate objections to your offers ahead of time. This will allow you to strengthen your arguments and be prepared for the other party’s protests. Since you are negotiating with an ex-partner you likely have an idea of how they operate. Ask yourself how you think they will feel about your offer. It’s also important to remember that sometimes objections are the result of missing information. For example, you partner may strongly object to your decision to move to a neighbouring city. Your partner may see this as you trying to interfere with their access to the children. In reality, your newly single income does not allow you to afford childcare and your parents, who reside in the neighbouring city, have agreed to help watch the children. Once all the facts are known, the move in fact may be a beneficial solution for both parties.

If you are considering separation and are interested in learning more about mediation, connect with us to set up an initial consultation. Our mediators, Lindsay Ewens-Jones and Dereck Jones offer complimentary 30 minute consultations.

If You Choose To Separate, Make Sure It's Legal

How To Meet The Requirements To Legally Separate In Alberta

It's important to seek representation to help you through your divorce.

The breakdown of a marriage is often overwhelming and emotionally draining for those involved. The divorce process itself is different for all parties. Depending on the situation, some couples work together to settle the outstanding matters through alternative dispute resolution such as a settlement meeting, mediation or negotiation, while other parties resolve matters through the court process. The length of time and methods used to reach resolution and ultimately legally separate vary based upon the different issues and choices the parties make.

How To Start Divorce Proceedings

Regardless of how your divorce matters are resolved, only a justice at the Court of Queen’s Bench has the ability to grant a divorce. As such, a Statement of Claim must be filed to initiate an action and to seek a divorce. A Statement of Claim can be filed by one party alone or can be filed by the parties jointly. A Statement of Claim is the court pleading that is filed to initiate your action with the court. It sets forth the grounds upon which the divorce is sought and also outlines the relief sought. A Statement of Claim for Divorce allows a party to seek any relief that falls under the Divorce Act, being a divorce, custody, access, child support and spousal support but can also be combined with a claim under the Matrimonial Property Act and/or a claim in equity, which is typically used to gain an interest in property during a period of time when a couple cohabited but was not married.

Criteria For A Legal Divorce In Alberta

In order to legally separate in Alberta, you need to meet certain requirements. First, you or your spouse must have been an ordinary resident in Alberta for at least one year. Second, in order to obtain a divorce, you must establish the breakdown of your marriage in one of the following ways: 1) be separated for one year; 2) either partner committed adultery; and 3) either partner performed some sort of mental or physical cruelty on the other partner. The most common way to establish the marriage breakdown is a one-year separation, since any ground must be proven. Thus, in order to seek a divorce on the basis of adultery or mental or physical cruelty, the party must prove that it actually happened. This usually occurs when the partner who committed the adultery or cruelty admits to doing so in an affidavit otherwise, it would be done at trial, which is generally avoided due to cost and timing.

Consider Your Options For Dispute Resolution

It is important to take the time to consider all of your options for divorce and select the process that will best suit your unique situation. If you would like to learn more about your options for divorce in Alberta including dispute resolution options, please connect with us to set up an initial consultation. At Jones Divorce Mediation we know that this is your life and you are the one that has to live with the results of your file. While the major decisions should be yours to make, we will give you our professional opinion along with the reasons behind them. We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family while delivering efficient, cost effective resolutions to your legal issues.

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