Negotiation during Divorce

Negotiation Tactics to Avoid During Divorce

Going through a divorce can be an incredibly stressful and emotional time. When negotiating the terms of your divorce settlement, tensions run high, and you may be tempted to use questionable tactics to gain an advantage over your former spouse.

However, these questionable negotiation strategies can backfire and leave you worse off.

We are a team of Fort Worth divorce lawyers that have seen it all, including the darker tactics others take. Here’s a look at some underhanded divorce negotiation tactics to avoid.

Hiding Assets and Income

Just and fair division is the goal when you’re dividing marital assets; this includes income you’ve brought in for the duration of your marriage.

One of the most common tactics is hiding assets and income so your spouse underestimates your net worth. We’ve seen people try to open secret bank accounts, transfer property deeds to relatives, or fail to disclose investments and earnings from a side business.

While it’s expected to keep some financial information private during divorce talks, outright hiding assets and lying about income is illegal. If discovered, someone may face penalties, lose credibility in future negotiations, and have settlement terms overturned.

Exaggerating Expenses

Let’s jump right into another financial snafu! Inflating expenses is another way one spouse may dishonestly attempt to hide money from the other. This is usually attempted when a person increases the amounts they claim to spend on necessities like housing, medical costs, and childcare.

Lying about expenses can mean the lying party could keep more of the marital assets. However, getting caught fabricating expenses can seriously damage any good faith between parties during settlement talks.

Our divorce team believes in keeping anything remotely financial as honest and fair as possible. After all, everyone deserves to start the next chapter of their lives with a decent head start.

Before negotiations start, review all financial documents between you and your spouse with your lawyer and ensure you clearly understand who pays for what services and costs every month in your marriage.

Skipping Documentation

Failing to provide documentation for financial disclosures is also considered deceptive. Someone may "forget" to bring proof of an expense or omit attachments proving an asset's worth.

Without documentation, your spouse has to trust your word simply. This is never a position either of you should be in during divorce negotiations. Ensure you have evidence to back up any claims you make as you navigate your way through the process.
Some essential financial documents you’ll need to disclose include W-2s, 1099 Tax Forms, pay stubs, stock options, compensation packages, and bank statements.

Destroying Property

Some spouses intentionally destroy marital property before or during divorce proceedings out of anger or vengeance. They may ruin a house they no longer want their spouse to have or wreck a car their ex will need.

Obliterating communal assets lowers their overall value when split during a settlement. Every situation is unique, but if someone is caught destroying marital assets and property, the courts could order the wronged spouse to receive the fairest share of the property regardless of its condition. A monetary judgment can also be placed on the offending party.

Manipulating Emotions

Hurtful spouses may try to exploit the other's emotions to gain a better settlement or improve their odds of child custody. One may make unreasonable demands then accuse their ex of being unfair when they don't get their way.

It's normal for divorce talks to get emotional. But beware if your spouse tries obvious manipulation tactics based on guilt, anger, or pity.

Feigning Agreement

A dishonest strategy is acting like you agree to settlement terms when you actually plan to contest them later. Once the divorce is finalized, the scheming party flips the table and files an appeal to try to overturn the agreement.

This underhanded tactic drags out the process and racks up legal fees for everyone involved. No matter how painful the end result may be, only agree to terms you intend to uphold.

Coercion and Threats

Finally, some spouses try to force or threaten their former partner into accepting a lower settlement. They may use intimidation, refuse to negotiate at all, or leverage something like child custody.

Any form of coercion during divorce talks is unethical and usually backfires. Negotiate assertively but civilly without threats or bullying. If you don’t have the emotional capacity to negotiate one-on-one at any point, reach out to your divorce lawyer for legal counsel and negotiation assistance.

Focus on Fairness with Nilsson Legal Group

Divorce settlements require good faith bargaining on both sides. By staying honest about your finances, offering reasonable demands, and remaining authentic throughout your divorce, you can ensure a fair settlement in the end.

However, divorce is difficult, and you shouldn’t have to do this alone. Let the professionals of Nilsson Legal Group help you navigate the ins and outs of your divorce in Tarrant County. We will prevent you from stumbling over obstacles that could lead to poor negotiation tactics.

We’re here to help. Schedule your free consultation today!
Parent Teacher Meeting and Communication

How to Communicate with Teachers Amidst a Divorce

Going through a divorce is difficult for all family members, including children. As you prepare for back-to-school season in Texas during the transition, it’s important to ensure your child’s school and teachers are informed about any major changes to child custody arrangements, emergency contacts, or other important details.


Especially during your divorce, your children’s needs always come first. Effective communication can help provide stability and success for your child during a transitional time and avoid confusion at school.


Let’s explore some communication strategies that can help keep education the focus on the school year for your child.

Notify the School About the Divorce

The first step is contacting your child’s school administration to notify them that you have separated or divorced from your spouse.

This gives the admin a heads up about potential changes ahead.

Provide both parents' names and contact information, and let the school know if one parent should be restricted from picking up your child per a custody agreement.


If any restraining orders are in place, this is also essential information to pass along.

Update Emergency Contact Info

One of the most important things you’ll want to update is your child’s emergency contact information with their Fort Worth schools. Provide current phone numbers and addresses for both parents as well as step-parents or anyone else authorized to care for your child if you can’t be reached.


Make it clear who the primary emergency contacts are in order of priority.

Discuss Custody Arrangements with Teachers

Have a discussion with your child’s core teachers to explain the custody schedule and arrangements. This discussion is essential if younger children require someone to collect them after school.


If you have a co-parenting schedule, let teachers know what days or weeks your child will be with each parent and provide contact information for following up with the right guardian at the right time.


If one parent is not authorized to pick up your child from school, make teachers aware of this.


Also, discuss how you plan to coordinate with your ex for things like curriculum nights, concerts, and other events.

Request Separate Teacher Communications

To avoid confusion, ask that the school send separate alerts and progress reports to each parent rather than just one family message.


Also, clarify with teachers how you prefer for them to communicate with each household. Whether it’s emails, phone calls, or weekly notes home, consistent and clear guidelines will avoid situations where one parent feels left out or tries to hold power over the other.

Inform Teachers About Changes in Home Life

While respecting your child’s privacy, give teachers a heads-up about any major changes in your child’s home life.

Situations like a parent moving to a new home, adjusting to step-siblings, or changing work schedules can easily impact homework time.
Letting your child’s teachers know about certain situations will help them understand any behavioral shifts or help your child work through any transitions.

Coordinate Schoolwork and Projects

Discuss with teachers how you plan to coordinate schoolwork, projects, and home learning with your ex. If your child goes back and forth between two homes, they may need help keeping organized..


Work with teachers and discuss back to school tips for sharing school-related information through digital calendars, apps, or other means. Offer solutions for making sure your child has what they need for homework and projects at both locations.

Plan for Back-to-School Events

Back-to-school nights, parent conferences, school concerts, and other events require coordination ahead of time when parents are divorced. Make a plan with your ex-spouse for who will attend which events and how you will split them up. Then communicate that plan with your child’s teacher so they know who to expect at each occasion. If attending together causes conflict, see if you can participate separately.

Adjust as Needed

Remember that communication with your child’s school during a divorce transition is ongoing. Even in an uncontested divorce, plans can change on a dime, and your child’s teachers must stay in the loop to ensure student safety.


Stay patient and continue meeting with teachers or school staff to adjust emergency contacts, custody schedules or other details as needed over the school year.

Get Through Divorce Faster with Fort Worth Divorce Lawyer

Going through a divorce while kids are in school creates many adjustments, but good communication with teachers and administration can help ease the stress of change.


Clear communication can minimize confusion and provide stability for your child during a point in their lives when they feel out of control.


However, this teamwork only gets your family so far, and you’ll want to have more time away from the negotiation table and with your children to help start the healing process.


Nilsson Legal Group is a team of Fort Worth divorce lawyers serving Tarrant County that can help make your divorce swift and fair. From child custody to marital property division, we’re here to get you into the next chapter of your life.


Schedule your free consultation today!