May 27, 2014

Try to “Win” in Divorce Court: Unless You Want to Get a Better Result

With so much at stake in a divorce, it is tempting to think about how to “win”.  Yet, the grim irony of divorce is that “winning” often leads to poor results.   I know that seems like a contradiction, but most divorce lawyers who, like me, have spoken with “winning” clients after a divorce, know that it is true.  Almost every “winning” client I have known during the past 30 years of divorce practice has expressed severe disappointment with their “winning” outcome.   The real “cost” of a litigated divorce (or even a divorce that settles on the courthouse steps) is so great financially, emotionally and, particularly for children, psychologically, that there truly are no winners.

Does that mean that, when facing divorce, you should simply “give up” and let your spouse have whatever he or she wants?  Of course not.  Because there is so much that matters, you need to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.  So, how can you achieve that, without trying to “win” in the traditional sense?  By finding a smarter way to get your spouse “to yes”.

Getting To Yes is the whole essence of divorce.  More than 95% of all divorces end in an agreement (and not a trial), so your divorce is likely to end in an agreement of some kind.  Therefore, the entire divorce process is one of seeking ways to get your spouse to say “yes” to the things that really matter. So, how do you get your spouse to eventually “say yes” to the things that are important to you?   It is tempting to think that you will get your spouse to “say yes” by hiring an aggressive lawyer to make bold arguments in your favor.  Tempting, maybe, but does that really work?  Is your spouse the kind of person who will respond to arguments by giving in?  Probably not.  On the other hand, if you are like the rest of the world, you will need to be much more strategic.

The chances are quite good that the best way to get your spouse to say yes is to help them see that saying yes meets their interests.   This notion of ”interest based bargaining” is a way to truly “win” without having to make anyone lose.   This method of truly “winning” without creating losers is rapidly growing in popularity and is commonly used by Collaborative Divorce lawyers.  To find a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer in Minnesota who can explain this to you go to www.collabortivelaw.org.

Ron OuskyABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ron Ousky
Attorney, Ousky Law Firm

Ron Ousky is a Collaborative Attorney and mediator who has worked with divorcing families for thirty years and focuses on helping his clients find better outcomes through Collaborative Practice, mediation and other creative alternatives. Ron is also the co-author of The Collaborative Way to Divorce, and has trained divorce lawyers throughout North America and in Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Collaborative Alliance, an office sharing suite in Edina, that brings lawyers, mental health professionals and financial experts together to find better solutions for families. To learn more about Ron and his practice, go to www.Ousky.com

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