How Do I Know If I Am Getting a Good Deal in My Divorce?

We’ve all felt buyer’s remorse at some point in our lifetime. It is that sick feeling you get shortly after you purchase something and realize that it was not what you expected and you wish you hadn’t spent the money. This feeling is not uncommon to individuals following a divorce.

Divorce is expensive in every sense of the word. It will cost you financially, physically, and emotionally. A good divorce lawyer can carry some of the emotional toll for you. This expense can often result in one party conceding to the other simply because he or she is tired.

Perhaps one of the most common questions I get from clients during mediation is, “Am I getting a good deal?” I tell those clients two things. First, I tell them what I think the result would be if we go to trial and to balance that expected result including the cost and expense of moving forward to trial with the offer that is on the table. Second, I tell my client to sit quietly for a minute and imagine how he/she will feel tonight after signing the settlement agreement. If you will feel relieved and happy, then you got a good deal. If you feel regret then you got a sour deal. The most important question is not whether or not you got a good deal in your divorce, but whether or not YOU feel like you got a good deal when all is said and done.

All that being said, this is one of the greatest benefits of hiring an experienced divorce lawyer. You will have the option of turning to your attorney and asking this question. You will get an answer from someone who has handled 100s or even 1000s of divorces. Your attorney should be able to tell you what to expect.

If you feel like you are getting a bad deal, then it might not be the right time to settle your case. A good divorce lawyer will help you understand the balance between the cost of fighting for what you think is fair, and settling for something that you are not happy with. Be careful of attorneys who claim that they will be an aggressive attorney and not allow their clients to settle for a raw deal. Being aggressive is easy, but it has a time and a place. When aggression simply results in additional attorney fees because your attorney wants to charge you $200.00 per hour to fight over a used couch worth less than $100.00, you may want to reconsider your strategy for divorce. After all, what is the point of fighting for your stuff when, at the end of the day, the attorneys are the ones who end up walking away with everything you and your former spouse worked hard to earn.

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