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The Reality of Divorce Law

Eric Johnson is a divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been for more than 20 years. I am quoting part of his interview through lawyerist.com because his words are important to those seeking a divorce. Here goes:

Think like a judge, not like a spouse. After two decades of practice I realized: (1) what the divorce client wants and/or feels is fair does not matter nearly as much (if at all) as what your judge wants to do and what your judge feels constrained by the law to do, and; (2) divorce clients don’t know this instinctively.

So much worry, effort, and time is wasted on the question: “How do I get what I want out of the divorce?” My mantra is that what you want: (1) is not within your control, and; (2) is not a question that either your judge or the law cares about.

So rather than ask your attorney, “How do I get what I want?” ask these questions instead:

(1) “Given the circumstances of my case, what should I expect to happen in my divorce case, and why?”

(2) “What can and should I honestly do to improve the odds of the case treating me as favorably as realistically possible?”

(3) “How do I do this as quickly and inexpensively as realistically possible?”

(4) Even if you tell yourself and your lawyer, “I just want what’s fair.” The truth is that “what’s fair” bears a striking resemblance to “what I want.”