Skip to Content

How To “Win” In Your Divorce

Jul 20, 2021 | Written by: William J. Rudnik, Esq. |

Everyone wants to “win” in their divorce.  However, you could argue that no one ever truly “wins” in a divorce case.

In cases where there are children, the children never win.  After a divorce, the children are often unable to spend as much time with both parents because they are split between two households.  In rare cases, the children do want to see their parents living separate and apart, if the conflict level at home was extremely high.  However, in most cases the children want their parents together and do not want them to get divorced.  Some parents believe they have “won” in a divorce case if they are given the majority of the parenting time with their children, and/or if their proposed schedule prevails over the other parent’s schedule.  However, any schedule that parents receive will likely result in them spending less time with their children than before the divorce.

The parties may believe they have “won” their divorce if they were successful in either settling or having the judge decide in favor of their financial position on the case.  However, both parties will end up with less after a divorce.  The assets are divided and each party must support their own household with fewer assets, less income, or less financial support than when the parties were together living in one household.  And each side can spend tens of thousands of dollars, or even in excess of one hundred thousand dollars, on attorneys’ fees, expert fees, etc. 

There is also the enormous emotional toll that divorce takes on all parties, especially in high conflict cases.  During a divorce, the parties deal with a wide range of emotions such as anger, sadness, and guilt.  The extreme stress often causes weight loss, sleep deprivation and other health problems.

In addition, there is the impact on employment from the distraction and days off required for a divorce.  It is difficult to argue that either party “wins” in having to go through this process.

So while there are truly no winners in a divorce case, here are some recommendations for how a party can “win” in a divorce case: 

1. Do what is best for the children.  The overriding principle regarding custody and parenting time is to consider the best interest of the children.  Not only is this the guiding legal principle, but it should be at the forefront of every parent’s mind when getting divorced.  What is best for the children is for the parents to agree on a parenting schedule, rather than litigating.  What is best for the children is for the parents to be supportive of each other as parents and to co-parent even after the divorce.  What is best for the children is for the parents to be cordial with one another and be able to stand next to each other for events in their children’s lives, such as sporting events, academic events, graduations, weddings, or the birth of a grandchild.  Doing what is best for the children will result in the parents and the children being in the best possible situation (under the circumstances) during and after a divorce. 

2. Resolve the financial issues rather than litigating.  Litigation takes a tremendous toll on both parties, both from a physical and mental health standpoint, and from a financial standpoint.  Parties can avoid the toll litigation takes by settling their case.  Most family law attorneys will work to settle cases.  The parties can settle directly with each other through their attorneys, or they can use a mediator or the collaborative divorce process.  The parties will not only be better off by settling, but they will also save a substantial amount of money in attorneys’ fees.  In addition, the parties are more likely to follow a divorce agreement that was settled between the parties rather than ordered by a court after litigation.  Resolution of the issues results in both parties “winning.”

3. View the bigger picture. Unfortunately, many marriages will not work out and there are situations where couples are better off separating and divorcing.  Parties should always think of the big picture in terms of their futures and their happiness.  While the divorce process can be difficult for all the reasons set forth above, it is a temporary process.  If parties can resolve issues and get along after a divorce, it will reduce the amount of stress in their lives and increase the level of happiness.  The goal should be to get through the divorce process as painlessly as possible in order to move on with the next chapter in both parties’ lives.  In most marriages there are almost always things that each party could do better, whether they are getting divorced or not.  Both parties should use the divorce as a learning experience in terms of how to improve oneself both individually and in a relationship.  They should learn from their mistakes and try to continually improve as individuals.  Both parties can “win” by proceeding in this manner.

While no one actually “wins” in a divorce case, you can feel more like you “won” by doing the right thing, doing what is best for your children, resolving the case amicably, learning from your mistakes, and moving forward in a positive manner. 


William J. Rudnik, Esq. is a partner with Gebhardt & Kiefer, PC.  He is certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.  In addition to handling divorce litigation, he is qualified as a Mediator in the field of Family Law under the New Jersey Court rules, and he is trained in Collaborative Divorce. Contact Mr. Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or via email.

If you have a suggestion for a future blog topic, please feel free to submit it via the Contact Us form.

Any statements made herein are solely for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice.