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Fair Divorce Settlements Are Impossible, Right?
When it comes to ending a marriage, among the most important things to consider are the concepts behind fair divorce settlements, or more specifically, how to get one.
The mistake many people make is thinking that they have to fight hard to get as much as they can out of the divorce. This is especially the case for the spouse who may not have wanted the divorce in the first place.
The truth is, when it turns into a big battle, nobody really “wins”. You just end up with a hefty bill and the weeks, months or even years of your life you spent battling that you can never get back. Here is the real truth behind fair divorce settlements, plain and simple.
One of the reasons so many people struggle over getting their fair share is the fact that both parties view what is “fair” completely differently.
When you’re locked in a battle over every little piece of property and every penny in the bank account, chances are you each think you’re entitled to something more than the other.
Then there are the people who think fair divorce settlements involve simply splitting everything down the middle.
The fact is, equitable distribution rarely ends up in a perfect 50/50 split. What it really comes down to is finding a middle ground that both of you can feel comfortable with, even if that middle ground isn’t quite what you’d pictured heading into the divorce.
Is it worth the fight?
You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to reaching a settlement.
You can “go to the mattresses”, as they say in The Godfather, and fight for everything you feel you’re entitled to. Of course, that likely means you’ll have to hire a pricey lawyer to fight for you.
You’ll also have to dig in your heels and prepare for a long, drawn out battle, because litigated divorce can take an unbelievably long time.
That means possibly spending tens of thousands of dollars (attorneys aren’t cheap), and wasting time that could be better spent trying to rebuild your life and move forward. In the end, that fair divorce settlement you’ve been fighting for still won’t turn out the way you’d hoped. Is it really worth it?
What makes more sense?
Instead of wasting time and money fighting over something elusive, what makes more sense is to mediate.
This allows you to sit down with one another, have an open, honest discussion about all of the important factors in your divorce, and negotiate a settlement that you’re both comfortable with. With mediation, you can reach an agreement in just a few short sessions and at a fraction of the cost of litigated divorce.
All you really need to do is be willing to concede and pick your battles. Know what you want ahead of time, what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not. Then you can move forward with reaching as close to a fair divorce settlement as possible without having to end up in a war that’s not worth fighting.
Peace is More Important
The fact is, nobody ever really gets everything they want in divorce.
In reality, fair divorce settlements involve compromise and negotiation.
Isn’t it better to reach an agreement peacefully than to fight it out like adversaries in court? In the end, you’ll likely get the same result but in a way that is much less stressful and doesn’t cost you endless time and money.
In dividing property, the Illinois court considers all relevant factors including the contribution of each party to the value of the property, particularly the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker, the value of the property distributed to each spouse, the length of the marriage, the financial situation of each spouse when the property is divided, (such as the need to give the family home to the spouse who has custody of the children), any obligations and rights arising from a prior marriage of either party, the age, health, station, occupation, income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties, the custody of any children, and the reasonable opportunity of each spouse for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
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