Emotions run high in divorces and custody cases. A situation that otherwise would have been resolved quickly and amicably can quickly turn hostile when spouses get angry and resentful, as can so often happen during a family law case. Spouses often have the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to “win” the divorce case by fighting to be awarded as much property or visitation as possible, but the plain truth is that not every issue is worth fighting over. Knowing what is and what is not worth battling over can save you time, money, and wasted emotions.
Anything that is easily replaceable is probably not worth a big conflict. Cookware, towels, and decorative items are typically easy to replace and not unique. Even larger items such as furniture and electronics are replaceable with little to no trouble. A good guideline to remember is that if you will pay your attorney more to battle to “win” a couch or a set of pans than it would cost to replace the item, it is likely not worth it for you to fight over this item.
That being said, some items of personal property may not be so easily replaced. Property such as family heirlooms or photographs, antiques, or custom jewelry present a different set of problems because while they may not be expensive, they are difficult and sometimes impossible to replace. In such a situation, you will need to think long and hard about your priorities. You need to really decide whether it is worth it to you to pay your attorney to go to a trial in order to be awarded a particular item. This is a question that only you can answer honestly.
On the other hand, some issues are almost always worth the struggle. First and foremost is child custody or child visitation. If your spouse is unwilling to provide you with a reasonable amount of time with your child, or if our spouse poses a danger to your child, these always are issues that are important to go to trial over, given that nothing is more important than a child. In addition, the division of large assets such as real estate and family businesses can be sufficiently important to go to trial over Spousal support may fall in this same category, but this is heavily dependent on the income of the parties, the length of the marriage, and the other factors relied upon by Washington courts to set spousal support.
If you are facing a divorce, call us today (253) 272-9459 for an appointment. We have extensive experience in helping our clients set priorities and goals in their divorces.