All too often in divorce cases, parties take positions based upon principle. This is not a good idea. It makes cases difficult to settle, and results in unnecessary acrimony, not to mention cost. What do I mean by this? What I mean is, determine a reasonable and realistic settlement, and focus on that. Don’t take settlement positions as your way of “sticking it” to your spouse. I’ve had cases where both parties are intent on being awarded the house, for example. When it comes down to it, both parties admit that it’s not so much that they want the house, it’s that they don’t want to give their spouse the satisfaction of getting the house. The same thing can happen in a custody and parenting time context. A party may seek a particular parenting time schedule, for example, not so much because they believe it is best for the kids, but because they know their spouse will oppose it, and they want to make life difficult for their spouse.
Such principled approaches to divorce cases are not wise. This happens most often when one spouse is more interested in getting divorced than the other spouse. It takes two to get married, but only one to get divorced. If your spouse is seeking a divorce, there is nothing you can do to stop it. Realizing this, quite often, the spouse who prefers to stay married will try to make the negotiating process difficult for the divorcing spouse. Their attitude is, “You may be able to divorce me, but I’m not going to make this easy for you.”
It is important to understand that the Judge will not see things this way. A Judge will not “punish” the spouse who is seeking the divorce and “reward” the spouse who prefers to stay married, or vice versa. The Judge will apply the law to your facts without regard to who initiated the divorce. As difficult as it may be emotionally, if you are in the midst of a divorce, it is important to recognize the importance of focusing on the things that really matter. As lawyers, we see the facts the same way that the Judge will see them. If your lawyer tells you that something “doesn’t matter,” listen to them. They are not trying to be insensitive or to take your spouse’s side. Rather, they are trying to help you focus on the big picture. Focusing on the important issues in your case, and staying away from principles, will help you settle your case and move on with your life.
Contact Beyer & Simonson
If you are facing divorce and any of the divorce-related issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, property division, or domestic abuse matters, you need our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys to help you. Contact Beyer & Simonson in Edina, Minnesota today at (952) 303-6007.