It’s normal, basic human nature to want to get one over those who hurt us. If possible, we want to win and prevail over them, take everything they hold dear, as a means of settling scores. However, as much as we would love to do this in a divorce, that’s not how the process works.
Any divorce lawyer worth his salt will make it clear from the onset: you will be doing a lot of compromising as the case drags on. You cannot get all you want, however unfair that may seem. So be prepared to lose some battles on the path to the freedom you so desperately crave.
Make A Scale of Preference
While it is a fact that you cannot have all your demands met—your wife may choose to spite you, or she may actually also need the same item—you can still succeed with a ton of your demands. This is where high school economics comes to play.
Make a list of all your demands. Everything, no matter how little. From custody of the kids, the family SUV, to even the tiny vase you got from a trip to Egypt. Number this from 1-10, or 1-20 depending on your needs, in descending order of priority. Mark items non-negotiable or open to compromise, depending on how far up they are on your priority scale.
Consult with your lawyers when making this list; their professional qualifications and experience in this field will help you map out a strategy to get as much as you possibly can from the divorce.
Focus on What Matters
Avoid getting dragged into petty squabbles by your soon to be ex, keep your eye on the prize—getting out of proceedings with the best possible deal. Do not dwell on inconsequential terms or conditions; confer with your lawyer and compromise if you need to. The power of compromise essentially gives you an upper hand when it comes to further negotiation.
Stand your ground on critical issues like custody and real estate; your lawyer should be able to navigate through unreasonable and unfeasible demands. With knowledge of your priority list, your counsel should be able to get you as close as possible to your actual demands.
Consider the Long Game
Let go of some of your demands during negotiations: this demonstrates good faith and a willingness to compromise to ensure a hitch-free divorce. Dragging on with arguments, negotiations, and, inadvertently, emotional outbursts will only drown you in further bills—taking the high ground can often be the financially sound and sensible way to go.
Treat every situation as a unique one. Weigh the pros and cons of standing your ground or compromising, with your lawyer’s input of course, and then bring your decision to the negotiator’s table.
Divorces have many difficult aspects, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side. Chad Foster is a trusted Washington lawyer serving Snohomish and King counties with an office in Bothell. Contact us today to discuss your legal issue.