Fair Divorce Settlement?
Is it possible to have a fair divorce settlement? Yes. It is important for both spouses to consider what they think is fair and why. They should make a list of what they want and another list of what they think their spouse wants. During negotiations too often, a spouse focuses only on their needs. It is also important to consider what your spouse needs and can they realistically provide you what you are requesting. For example, in a recent case, the wife wanted to remain in the marital residence with the children, continue to be a stay at home mom and have the children continue to attend a private elementary school. This was possible during the marriage so, it is understandable that she wanted the status quo to continue. Especially since she did not want the divorce.
After the husband, the wife and I together reviewed the husband's salary, it was mathematically impossible for the status quo to continue post-divorce and have enough money left over so the husband could pay rent for a modest apartment.
After we all understood the numbers, then would could together problem solve by prioritizing what was most important. The couple decided that keeping the children in private school was the priority. So, they agreed to sell the marital home. When the house sold, there was enough equity for each of them to purchase a small home that had enough space so the children could have two comfortable homes.
After both spouses understood the numbers, they were more calm. When they were calm, they were able to discuss realistic options. Rather than spending huge sums of money having their attorneys argue, the couple figured out a settlement that worked for their family.
While divorce is never easy, it is a good day at my office when educating clients about financial issues empowers them to get divorced without destroying their family or finances.