Recently, I was involved in a negotiation that seemed, for the first time, to be moving in the right direction. However, at one point when it was getting toward the end of the negotiation, the next counter proposal started, "you have to get rid of your dogs and sell the house ..."
I did not need to hear more because that was a threat, not a real proposal. Implicit in the statement was "if you don't capitulate to my unreasonable demand, I am going to try to take away that which is no important to you."
Recognizing that this was simply a threat, I put a stop to things (to put it nicely). In these situations, when someone resorts to threats or other illegitimate tactics, consider pulling the plug on the discussion or at least make it clear that you will. You will be surprised how often that corrects the negotiation and returns it to where it should be.
Eric Solotoff is the editor of the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and the Co-Chair of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Eric practices in Fox Rothschild's Roseland, New Jersey office though he practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Eric at (973)994-7501, or firstname.lastname@example.org.