Whether you are working with attorneys or a mediator, hashing out a divorce agreement means bringing proposals for dividing your assets, debts, and tax obligations for your spouse to consider.

In this process, it’s important to think about what your spouse will accept. Here are some tips for coming up with proposals.

Saving Time In Mediation

Creating a divorce agreement without going to court means finding a compromise that both you and your spouse can agree to. Your mediator is there to help you with that process.

Divorce is about division. In a community property state, all of your marital assets and debts belong equally to you and your spouse. No one is going to walk away with all of the assets. No one is going to accept all of the debts. If your proposal is one your spouse won’t or can’t accept, you’ll spend time in mediation until you reach an agreement that you and your spouse can both accept.

You can save time if you start considering what compromises you’re willing to make before the mediation process begins.

Figuring Out What They’ll Accept

Every couple and every person is different. You may have different priorities than other people would in the same position. However, you likely know a little about what those priorities look like for your spouse.

Here are some guidelines that might help.

    1. Put yourself in their shoes. What would it be like if you had to accept their end of the deal you are proposing? Would you feel OK with that? If not, it’s likely that they won’t, either.
    2. Consider their circumstances. Maybe it sounds fair to give your spouse the house and the car and keep the cash and accounts if they have the same dollar value. However, the upkeep of a home or car costs time and money that they may not have. Consider whether what you propose will be workable for them.
    3. Consider their preferences. Some people love financial games, and others hate them. If your spouse considers keeping track of payments on debts to be a hassle, they might be willing to take fewer assets and fewer debts to save themselves a headache. However, if they like the financial flexibility that comes with lines of credit and more liquid assets, they might not.
    4. Consider their feelings. Both you and your spouse may have an emotional attachment to particular joint possessions. If you know which things matter most to your spouse, you can begin to anticipate which things they won’t easily give up. It often works well to trade something that matters to them for something that matters to you.

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