I was tempted to write this post because of so many initial consultations I have with divorce clients where one party says “yeah, but I just want to give all of x,y and z because ” I don’t want to fight”” Usually all of which they want to give is grossly disproportionate to what the other side is entitled to. My response is always this:
1) Although we agree to do this similar to a collaborative divorce, or collaboratively, whichever you prefer, and try to keep the matter out court to work toward settlement since you do not wish to go in guns blazing then at least come off on a strong stance. Evaluate your maximum legal entitlement, present this to the other side, and take what you want in the end but use what you are giving up as leverage. Further, if the case may be that you wish to provide spousal support then do so but since you are giving up x amount of dollars in the residence that you are giving to the other side then “on paper” have spousal support as O and you can do this if what you are waiving in equalization payment would be sufficient. Then voluntarily provide spousal support. This way, it does not become a court ordered obligation that could incur hefty penalties.
I have always stated and I will continue to say that a Collaborative Divorce is always the best option. No doubt in my mind. But, maintaining a strong position throughout the divorce is extremely important. If the weaker party feels as though they do not have the strength to stand up to the other side, well, that is why the parties are represented, the weaker party can always hide behind me and I will take the brunt of it all. In the end, a fair result and, more importantly, protecting your legal rights is what’s important.