Negotiating With Your Abuser

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – Negotiating With Your Abuser

You’ll need to negotiate with your abuser to finalize your parenting agreement & child support amount & payment date

Even though your lawyer will act as a buffer between you and your abuser you will still be on an emotional roller coaster

Negotiating with your abuser will feel like being exposed once more to constant abuse but this time it’s in public

You’ll feel scared and intimidated by your abuser. But just remember that you are STRONG and this is for your kids

During negotiating with your abuser, you may feel pressured to agree to a plan that you’re not comfortable with

Do not sign any documents you don’t completely understand or that you are not comfortable with

If you’re uncomfortable with what your lawyer proposes, say it immediately. See if there’s a comfortable middle ground

Make sure when you sign it’s something you can live with for a long time as it’s difficult to change orders once they are final

Your lawyer will guide you within the law when you’re making decisions and should tell you if you’re being unrealistic

Know what you are willing to settle for. Your absolute ’NO’ point…where you draw the line and will go no further

Make two lists, the ‘MUST HAVE’ items and the ‘WOULD BE NICE’ items to guide your negotiations

Review your ‘MUST HAVE’ and ‘WOULD BE NICE’ lists with your lawyer and discuss negotiation strategies

The ‘WOULD BE NICE’ list are the items you use as compromising tools to gain items on your ‘MUST HAVE’ list

When preparing these lists, stay focused and don’t be swayed by anger or feelings of vengeance

Think clearly & long-term when creating your ‘MUST HAVE’ & ‘WOULD BE NICE’ lists as you are setting life for the future

Remember your children are most important in these negotiations and you MUST do what’s best for them

When negotiating with your abuser remember the following abusive attributes to reduce getting hurt:

  1. Your abuser’s plan is to undermine your authority and destroy your relationship with your children
  2. Your abuser is always charming and appears reasonable to everyone and is only abusive when you are alone
  3. Your abuser will never change regardless of what you compromise on in your negotiations
  4. Your abuser’s main reason for wanting custody maybe to not have to pay child support
  5. Your abuser may be seeking custody in order to maintain power and control over you

Remember these abusive attributes throughout your negotiations and don’t get distracted by charm or pity

Your abuser will say things and use strategies in negotiations that are known to trigger your deepest emotional responses

Prepare yourself emotionally to negotiate with your abuser as it will not be quick or easy, but you want it to be productive

You will need very thick skin when negotiating with your abuser. Know and learn to deal with your emotional triggers

Keeping your emotions in check while negotiating with your abuser is hard but with help it is possible

A support group for abuse survivors is somewhere you can talk about your emotional triggers and brainstorm resolutions

You can make a notes of things that angered you or you thought was unfair and discuss it at your next support group meeting

Venting at your support group meeting is a more satisfying venting session than venting while negotiating with your abuser

Having a safe place to vent is a great way to help you keep your sanity when negotiating with your abuser

Your thoughts will be more grounded and child centric because you had a chance to express your anger and hurt feelings

If you get angry during negotiations, walk away and clear your head. DON’T MAKE RASH DECISIONS WHEN ANGRY

Walk away, calm down and think of how weeks, months or years in the future would feel with these angry decisions

Abusers often times do not feel obligated to honor agreements they make because of their high level of entitlement

Abusers have an extensive collection of excuses, justifications & lists of what you’ve done why they can’t fulfill obligations

It’s best to include provisions in your parenting agreement that address how future breaches will be dealt with

Make sure your agreements cover all possibilities as much as you can think of ahead of time. Leave nothing to chance

REMEMBER, you may not get everything you want when negotiating. Make sure you are comfortable with all compromises

BE STRONG. Remember you are doing this for your children

Please email comments and questions to and join the conversation

Thanks for joining Right-On with HFG

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday November 5 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Co-Parenting With Your Abuser

Please email your questions and comments to

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!

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