What are your actual needs? Determining them is vital. Many spouses are made to believe that they can obtain the moon, or the proverbial pie, so to speak, so they enter into legal battle fully armoured, armed and out for blood. However, battle inevitably leads to casualties, wounding and loss. Each lawyer promising the moon, the battle is lost before it’s begun.

King Solomon provided us with a legendary judgment in the case of two women claiming to be the same baby’s mother. In his role as Judge, he ruled that each woman was entitled to her share and ordered that the baby be cut in half. Solomon knew that the veritable mother would thus be revealed yet as absurd as it seems, it illustrates nonetheless the basic premise of the division of assets and family patrimony: half each.

Let’s examine. When it comes to material objects, half the value, or half the object, doesn’t necessarily fulfill your need. Imagine a pie. Before a Judge, it would be split in half, each party being awarded all ingredients in equal shares, or alternatively, one obtaining half the value and the other retaining the entire pie.

In some cases, this is equitable. However, when negotiating, one can ask the question: what is it about the pie that you actually need or want? One spouse may love the filing and habitually discard the crust while the other may love the crust and discard the filing. Awarding one party part of what they truly seek, or half the value of the pie, leaving that spouse with only half the funds to buy a full pie, is not optimal.

The beauty of negotiation and settlement is that each party can retain 100% of what they want.

An even more significant benefit is that a better relationship between spouses can be developed, or maintained, as the case may be. This ultimately benefits your children, which is usually one’s most prized “possession”.

Weigh your options judiciously. Seek a lawyer or mediator whose approach is to try and negotiate a settlement wherein you can receive the part of the pie that best corresponds to your wants and needs, all while diffusing the potential animosity and simultaneously minimizing legal fees.


Anouk Benzacar
Anouk is a family law lawyer in Montreal, Quebec who specializes in family law and mediation. To learn more about Anouk click https://www.thedivorceangels.com/vendor/anouk-benzacar-2/


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