How To Successfully Negotiate A Charleston Divorce Settlement

You are facing the biggest decisions in your life.

What will happen in your Charleston divorce regarding:

  • Child custody?
  • Child visitation?
  • Child support?
  • Alimony?
  • Division of your marital property and debts?
  • Your business?
  • The marital home?
  • Your future?

You can’t afford to make a mistake. Too much is at stake.

Other people in your situation frequently ask one question: What are the keys to successfully negotiating a Charleston divorce settlement?

From my many years as a divorce lawyer, I have learned that divorce clients have the best outcomes when they do these things.

1. Hire an Experienced Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer

It is very unlikely that you will be able to successfully negotiate a divorce settlement without help from a skilled Charleston divorce attorney.  South Carolina divorce, alimony, property division, and child custody laws can be confusing. Consequently, your first move should be to hire a skilled Charleston divorce attorney, who will develop a divorce settlement strategy to achieve your goals.

2. Always Be Open to Negotiate a Divorce Settlement

It takes two people to make a “deal” in a Charleston divorce. Never say “never” when it comes to trying to negotiate a divorce settlement. While it may sound good to say “you will never make a deal with your spouse,” refusing to negotiate a divorce settlement could be very costly for you.

More than 90% of all Charleston divorces are resolved through divorce settlements. Many people settle their divorces to eliminate the possibility of a Charleston family court judge entering an unfavorable decision regarding child visitation, child custody, child support, alimony, or marital property division. Others settle their Charleston divorces to minimize the emotional and financial costs of a lengthy divorce case. An experienced Charleston divorce and child custody attorney can tell you many more reasons why it may be in your best interest to negotiate a divorce settlement.

3. Get Your Spouse to Make the First Move

A famous general once wrote: “He – who moves first – LOSES!” So, it often is with Charleston divorce settlement negotiations. Leverage is the key to negotiating a good divorce settlement.

Before productive divorce settlement negotiations can occur, your spouse must believe that it is in his or her best interest to settle your divorce case instead of going to trial. Wait for your spouse to make the first move before you get serious about trying to settle your Charleston divorce. Be patient in your divorce settlement negotiations.

4. Your First Offer Should Be What You Might Get with Your “Best” Day in Court

You will probably feel frustrated by the divorce process. However, you should resist the temptation to start divorce settlement negotiations with your “bottom line” offer regarding alimony, child custody, child visitation, the marital home, and all other issues in your Charleston divorce.

Instead of starting with your “bottom line,” you should start with a divorce settlement offer that includes everything that you would hope to get if your divorce judge rules totally in your favor on marital property division, marital debts, child custody, alimony, child visitation, child support, and every other issue in dispute in your Charleston divorce. You will then be in a good position to negotiate down to your “bottom line” divorce settlement position.

5. Do NOT Accept the First Divorce Settlement Offer

If you wouldn’t buy a car or a house for the asking price, why would you accept the first divorce settlement offer from your spouse? The quality of your life for many years is at stake.

Your spouse and you will have to compromise if your Charleston divorce settlement negotiations are to be successful. Instead of just rejecting your spouse’s first offer, you should respond with a divorce settlement counteroffer that builds on common points on which both of you can agree. Add to that foundation other terms that you want as part of your divorce settlement. You can then negotiate your divorce settlement from a position of strength.

6. Negotiate with the Facts, Not Your Emotions


Your divorce settlement negotiations will probably be a very emotional experience. Your spouse may become angry and say hurtful things. Instead of fighting back, fight “smart.”

Ignore your spouse’s emotional outbursts. By remaining focused on facts and figures, you are more likely to get a better deal on child custody, child support, alimony, division of marital property, payment of divorce attorney’s fees, and other divorce issues.

Conclusion – Do NOT Negotiate Without the Help of a Charleston Divorce Lawyer

The Peck Law Firm, Charleston Divorce Lawyer

Everything is on the line – your role in the life of your children, child support, child visitation, your marital house, your investments, and your retirement. One mistake could cost your children and you for many years to come.

You need the help of a Charleston divorce and child custody attorney in negotiating child visitation, child custody, and child support. When you divide your marital property and debts, you want to be sure that you get the best possible divorce settlement. And, when it comes to alimony, your decision could dramatically affect the remainder of your life. You shouldn’t try to do it alone. You should hire a Charleston divorce attorney.

If you are facing a divorce or legal separation, it is best to start planning before the court papers are served on you. As an experienced Charleston divorce and child custody lawyer, I want to help you. Please call me now at 843-631-7117.

Working together, we will build a better future for you and children in Charleston, Daniel Island, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, James Island, Kiawah, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, Summerville, or West Ashley.

Recommendations for Additional Reading

The South Carolina Child Custody Law

Protecting Your Assets In Your Charleston Divorce

4 Things You Don’t Want From A Charleston Divorce Settlement