Continuing the chess analogy, in chess, the primary objective is to capture the king. But do you know what the secondary objective is? It is to move your pawn across the board to the eighth row where it is magically converted into a queen.

In divorce, I like to start out by asking you what your primary objectives are.

Achievable objectives include:

  • keeping the house
  • keeping a business
  • keeping retirement funds
  • maximizing time with children
  • untangling the marital estate quickly and economically

However, you are likely to be disappointed if your primary objectives are:

  • winning the fight with your spouse and leaving him or her twisting in the wind
  • getting the judge to say you were right and your spouse was wrong
  • keeping all the assets
  • cutting your spouse out of your children’s lives

There are hidden secondary objectives in divorce as well:

  • not making an enemy of your spouse forever
  • maintaining a working relationship with the parent of your children
  • avoiding being called back into court to modify alimony or child support
  • avoiding making such a good deal that your spouse cannot meet its terms

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