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How to learn the art of divorce negotiation

Most people who pursue a divorce are doing so for the first time. Therefore, no spouse is an expert at going through a divorce. Entering unchartered territory with so much uncertainty can be terrifying, and it can cause divorcing spouses to act in strange and uncharacteristic ways.

If you are considering filing for divorce but you're worried about successfully negotiating with your spouse, it's important that you take the time to consider your strategy. Don't put all of your cards on the table before you have a good strategy for how to win the game. The following are some tips to master the art of divorce negotiation.

Should you go into bankruptcy before, during or after divorce?

You know that your financial situation isn't great, but you're not sure if you should go into bankruptcy. Right now, you're already working on divorcing your spouse, and you don't know that you want to have two major changes happening at once.

Before you get too worried about it, remember that it's not likely that you will be able to do both things at the same time. During a divorce, your assets could be locked down. The same is true during a bankruptcy.

Don't be deceptive when it's time for a divorce

When you found out that your spouse was cheating, you immediately started to devise ways to get back at him. You wanted to empty your bank accounts, run up your credit cards and start hiding valuable assets in a local storage unit. Your goal was to walk away with as much as possible.

Before you do that, stop and think it through. Using "creative" techniques to get ahead in your divorce isn't a great idea, because you need to be as honest as possible to make a good impression on the court. Deception, such as hiding assets or stealing, will significantly and negatively impact your divorce.

Watch out for the signs of parental alienation

You've been working with your ex-spouse on custody arrangements, but there's one thing that you've noticed that you don't like. Every time your children come home, they have new toys and clothing. Every time they return, they ask when they can go back and see their other parent again. They cry and say they want to stay there.

Last week, your littlest child stated that her dad said you're a bad person. Your older child confirmed it. Now, you're livid. Why would your ex-spouse be putting your children in the middle of the issues you have to deal with as adults? Why are they doing so much for your children and then making you look so bad as a parent?

Divorcing? Don't make the mistake of emptying your accounts

During your divorce, you might want to make your move and clear out bank accounts or run up credit cards. You think that will really hurt your spouse, but you should know that it is more likely to hurt you.

It's a sign of wanting control to clean out accounts. You're taking away the other person's financial stability, in some cases, and hoarding assets for yourself. Unfortunately, those assets may not all belong to you. If you clean out a bank account just before divorce, you'll have access to the money. If you file, your accounts could be restricted by an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order, so that neither of you can make certain financial decisions once your divorce starts. That would make it hard, or impossible, for your spouse to take out any funds at all.

Keep these 5 things in mind when divorcing a narcissist

Somehow, like so many others, you missed all the signs during the courting process that you were dating a narcissist. But several years into the marriage, you are no longer able to put up with their unhealthy behavior patterns.

It's not easy to divorce a narcissist. But, about the only thing harder is to remain unhappily married to one, so it's good to finally get to this point. If you are unsure about what to do next, the following five tips may prove useful when divorcing your narcissistic spouse.

Men break up with women, but women divorce men

If your opposite-sex relationship ends, who do you think is going to end it, you or your significant other? Some of it may just depend on your gender. However, studies have shown that the type of relationship -- or when in your relationship you break up -- also plays a significant role in which gender will initiate it.

Dating or married?

5 things everyone should know about a prenup

Thinking of using a prenup when you get married? Maybe you have far more financial assets than your future spouse. If you get divorced, you worry about losing that money. You want the prenup to protect you.

This is wise, especially in situations with a serious wealth imbalance. Some couples let their emotions get in the way, but it's best to think carefully and logically about your rights, your assets and how to secure your own future. With that in mind, here are five things you should know:

Things married couples do that ruin their relationships

Divorce doesn't always happen because of infidelity or something else that is dramatic and obvious. Many times, people see their relationships deteriorate for much "smaller" issues. These things add up over time. They can be just as destructive as some of the bigger issues that people often associate with divorce.

If you feel like your marriage is coming to an end, maybe it is because you or your spouse have done some of the following. These are a few of the main things people do that ruin their relationships:

  • They do not communicate well or they don't understand the differences in communication styles. For instance, many women focus on sharing information; they just want a connection with the person they're talking to. Many men, on the other hand, want to find a solution to a problem. When people do not understand their spouse's goals, they don't feel like they know how to talk to one another.
  • One person asks the other to give up the things that they love for the marriage. Everyone has passions in life. You may love things that are very different from what your spouse enjoys. That's fine, but asking someone to abandon those passions just to stay married is a surefire way to make them resent the marriage.
  • One person tells the other to pick them over other important people in their lives. This could mean spending less time with friends or choosing a spouse over a family member. While the spousal relationship is certainly different and important, the goal should not be to replace these other relationships, but to add to them.
  • They expect the other person to change after marriage. Some people say that their immature significant other is going to grow up after they get married, for instance. This is a risky position to take. People often do not change. People should not get married when they just want to change the other person into someone new after they tie the knot.
  • One person forces the other to be more like them. It's good to share interests and activities, but it's unrealistic to think that your spouse is going to give up what they like and suddenly become interested in everything you like. If you think you can force them to do it, that mindset will cause issues in the marriage.

Understanding the financial side of a divorce

Divorce may be a relationship issue, a family issue, but the reality is that it's also a major financial issue. You have to consider the financial side of the split. You have to think about the long-term ramifications. Relationships may come and go, but the money-related decisions you make during your divorce -- or the things that you overlook -- could impact the rest of your life.

That may sound intimidating, but it shouldn't. You just need to know what steps to take. Here are a few things to get you started:

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