WORK­ING TO­GETHER OVER THE HOLIDAYS

FIVE WAYS TO NE­GO­TI­ATE WITH YOUR EX-PART­NER ABOUT CHRIST­MAS PAR­ENT­ING AR­RANGE­MENTS

Style Magazine - - Promotion - Kather­ine Mar­shall SE­NIOR SO­LIC­I­TOR AT BEST WIL­SON BUCK­LEY FAM­ILY LAW

The lead up to Christ­mas is of­ten dif­fi­cult for both par­ents and chil­dren from sep­a­rated fam­i­lies.

At times, ne­go­ti­at­ing with your ex-part­ner about who will have the chil­dren over the Christ­mas pe­riod can seem like a mine­field.

When both par­ents are not will­ing to com­pro­mise in re­la­tion to these ar­range­ments and you are at a stale­mate, some­times lawyers can be of as­sis­tance.

How­ever, just a warn­ing, most law firms close over the Christ­mas and New Year break and are un­con­tactable dur­ing this pe­riod.

If you are at an im­passe with your ex-part­ner, the fol­low­ing strate­gies may be of as­sis­tance in ar­riv­ing at a com­pro­mise that suits you, the other par­ent and, most of all, the chil­dren!

Keep calm

Whilst some­thing that the other party may say could in­fu­ri­ate you or ap­pear un­rea­son­able in your eyes, re­main calm!

Be­com­ing an­gry of­ten leads to the end of a ne­go­ti­a­tion.

Of­fer an in­cen­tive

Some­times the key to get­ting the other per­son over the line on a deal is to of­fer them an in­cen­tive or sweet­ener to take your pro­posal. Peo­ple are more likely to ac­cept an out­come if there is some­thing in it for them.

Com­pro­mise

Ne­go­ti­at­ing suc­cess­fully can of­ten re­quire you to think out­side the box and come up with cre­ative so­lu­tions to re­solve the dis­pute.

Just re­mem­ber that in a ne­go­ti­a­tion, the out­come might not be ei­ther par­ent’s ideal op­tion.

As lawyers we don’t ask our clients to nec­es­sar­ily be happy with the com­pro­mised deal, we just ask you to be able to live with it if it means a res­o­lu­tion for you and the chil­dren.

Let the other per­son speak

Ne­go­ti­a­tions of­ten fail where one party does not feel heard or lis­tened to.

So if the other par­ent ap­pears itch­ing to say some­thing and fully ex­plain their rea­sons for their po­si­tion, let them.

With­out feel­ing heard, most par­ents will not agree to a com­pro­mised so­lu­tion.

Know your ar­gu­ment

Some­times it is use­ful to do a pros and cons list as to why your pro­posal is bet­ter for the chil­dren than the other par­ent’s.

Af­ter you have let the other par­ent state their case, state yours — but do so with solid ar­gu­ments un­der­pin­ning your pro­posal. At the end of the day, you (to some de­gree) need to con­vince the other par­ent of the mer­its of your pro­posal.

By adopt­ing some of the above ne­go­ti­a­tion strate­gies you may have some suc­cess in nav­i­gat­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod on your own.

If all else fails and you are an ex­ist­ing client of Best Wil­son Buck­ley, we do have an emer­gency mo­bile num­ber that you are able to con­tact for some ad­vice ask your fam­ily lawyer or one of our team to find out more.

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