Be Proactive. Not Reactive.

I cannot over emphasize this point.

Being proactive can help you avoid issues or, if unavoidable, at least being prepared for them. If you know there are hot buttons for your soon-to-be-X (STBX) and certain situation will trigger a reaction, plan for them and develop a strategy.

Approach the situation by first identifying what might happen and develop a plan to change the circumstances that might lead to the dispute. For example; if you know your STBX’s family is coming in for a visit and some of the time occurs during your parenting time; Rather than wait for the demand for extra time with the children, (and the conflict that might occur with the demand) suggest a swap of time in advance. If you can anticipate problems and avoid them your divorce will move to a more collaborative situation and resolution will be easier.

Being proactive is also critical if you are in court or as you move into mediation. Thinking though what the other sided will throw at you and developing a defence for these items will help you win your point and deflect criticism.

Thinking ahead of the issues will help you be in control and make an educated decision. A client wanted to negotiate a lump sum settlement with his STBX and I prepped him with spread sheets of the likely range of alimony numbers and what that represented on a lump sum basis. This gave him the ability to negotiate from a position of strength rather than being reactive to the situation as it unfolded. It also allowed the negotiations to move faster resulting in lower legal fees.
Plan for as many possibilities as you can imagine and you will not be caught off guard.

Another useful and beneficial way to be proactive, is to be the one to take action and get the ball rolling. This will stop the waiting game and will be empowering as you will feel like you have power over your life instead of feeling like you are being run by the other side or the court system. Set up appointments with the mediator and get the needed documentation into the hand of the other side;

Be the one who drives the process.

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