Can’t Agree

What do you do if you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse on some of the issues?

If you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse on some of the issues, try making concessions on other issues and then “packaging” a settlement involving a group of issues. Sometimes, reaching a settlement is a question of timing. Put off settlement discussions until your spouse is in a more receptive mood to negotiate.

Sometimes, the roadblock to settlement is the failure of one or both spouses to listen to the other spouse’s concerns.  We can’t over emphasize this.  If you are stuck on one or more issues, ask your spouse to describe in detail his or her concerns regarding that issue.  Really listen to your spouse. Don’t interrupt. Don’t argue.  Let them have their say. Sometimes, cases can’t be settled until your spouse feels they had a chance to express their feelings and concerns and you actually listened and understood what they said. After you have listened to your spouse, ask your spouse what he or she thinks can be done to address their concerns. If you are stuck on child custody related issues, consider setting up a meeting with a therapist that specializes in children’s issues and ask the therapist to help you and your spouse reach agreements on custody issues. If you just can’t come to terms on one or more issues, consider meeting with a mediator.

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