Winning a Divorce. Is That Possible?

Before you win claim victory you need to define what “winning” means or what “winning” in divorce court looks like.   If winning means getting sole custody of the child, getting all the assets, having your spouse take all the debts, and you getting 75% of their income for alimony  you will surely be disappointed.   Divorce court is never about getting everything.   In divorce court, winning is mostly about getting half,  not getting all.

Divorce court is necessary when spouses can not settle issues regarding custody, child support, community assets, dividing community debts and alimony.  At least these are the main issues that a court will decide if spouses cannot.  Some of these areas are more likely to be argued over than others.  For example dividing assets is fairly simple and objective.   If the asset is a community asset then it will be divided evenly.  Divided evenly is Nevada’s law and not much to win by fighting against this law.   Compared to child custody which is more subjective.   Fighting over custody of the child might be an issue you can win, if you have the right facts.

What is “NOT” Winnable

Some issues like child support or debts are not winnable.  Or at least too costly to fight over.  Meaning you might win the issue but you end up paying  more in attorney fees than you won.  This is not a win.  Clients try to argue over child support.  However, the formula is basically set in stone.  The formula is based on the number of children, the type of custody you have, and gross monthly incomes.   Here is a link to Nevada’s Child Support formula.   Once the custody schedule is determined the formula is simply calculated.    The only issue to argue over is each parent’s monthly income, the costs for health insurance, and the costs for daycare.  Sometimes, you can argue the other parent is misreporting income.

The same goes with community debts.  If a debt was incurred during the marriage then it is a community debt.    All community debts are divided evenly.   You might be able to argue some of the debts are marital waste, if you have the evidence to show the waste.   Other than marital waste their isn’t too much to win with community debts.

What Can You Win

Let’s talk more about the issues couples can see wins in;  child custody and alimony.   These two issue are almost completely left to a judge’s discretion.   A judge can determine who gets custody of the child using almost any evidence they find is relevant to the best interest factors of a child.    The court has established standard factors, but they can use any factor that relates to the child.   Although, remember you are fighting over joint custody or primary custody. Some parents want to custody and don’t have the facts to support their case.  Fight for custody requires the right facts.  Without the right facts you are wasting your time and money fighting for primary custody.

The same goes for alimony (aka spousal support).   Nevada does not have a black and white spousal support formula.  The courts can look at any factor like need, ability to pay,  education obtained during the marriage, or amount of assets to determine a property spousal support amount.   After reviewing these facts a judge can order a certain amount of monthly child support for a certain amount of months.   Although there is no exact formula we have built a spousal support calculator to give you an idea of what a judge might order.

The Real Winners

The real winner in a divorce is the spouse who knows when to fight and when to settle.    Just because you can fight over an issue doesn’t mean you should.   For example, you can fight over custody of the child.  Should you is the question.  Do you have the facts to win?   Are you looking for custody as a way to get revenge on your spouse?  You might get revenge but you also might harm the child during the process.   You might spend thousands of dollars and lose.   And sometimes when you lose the judge can order you to pay the other side’s attorney fees.

Talk with your divorce attorney about the issues you should fight over, and the likelihood of winning.   Ask what a win would look like.   Also ask how much it will cost you to win the issues.   You are only making the attorney richer if you spend $10,000 in attorney fees to get $10,000 from your spouse.