11 Ways to Get a Fair Outcome in Your Divorce

Divorce is 80 percent logistics. Preparing, filing, and exchanging paperwork and financial documents. Before your divorce can be finalized, you and your spouse have to get to an agreement on all divorce-related issues . You'll both feel like you got a fairer outcome if you can agree out of court, so try.

Fortunately, 95%  of divorces end in an agreement so the odds are definitely in your favor. But how can you figure out divorce terms as quickly and easily as possible, with the least amount of drama and expense? Here are 11 things to do to "win" your divorce.

1. Get financial clarity

Make sure you have everything you need. We can’t possibly negotiate our way out of a (marital) contract unless we know what’s at stake. Our Settlement Agreement Checklist helps you account for all your financials.

2. Prepare

Does this feel scary? Of course it does. Everyone is an amateur at divorce. Get clear on your goals, best-case scenario, and what you’re willing to settle for. Our big-picture divorce planning checklist is a good way to get started.

3. Don’t be too nice

Keeping things amicable doesn't mean caving into your spouse's demands or avoiding conflict altogether. Empaths often start the discussion by offering to give something up as a showing of “good faith.” Don’t. It won’t be enough – your spouse will come back asking for more and you’ll likely feel resentful. There are other ways to show you are being reasonable, like using Hello Divorce instead of lawyering up with the most aggressive attorney in town.

4. Advise yourself like you would your best friend

If your emotions are all over the place, think about what advice you’d give your best friend. Take the offer and run? Push back some – is this totally lopsided? You always have the right words for the people you love, so trust them and apply them to your situation, too.

5. Keep the focus on your children

If you have kids, have their well-being at the top of both of your priorities. It takes the focus off of blame and squarely on your kids who you both love.

6. Manage your wellness

If today is too busy or too emotional of a day to negotiate, then don’t. That’s the beauty of keeping this out of court... your divorce, your rules. Avoid making decisions when you're in a negative headspace. Do your best to keep calm and carry on.

7. Avoid triggers

Speaking of wellness, avoid things that bring out the worst in you and your spouse. Nothing good ever comes from intentionally pushing buttons during divorce negotiations. Trust me (I’ve been doing this for 16 years).

8. Celebrate the small wins

Focus on the positives. Point out: "We’ve already come to an agreement on A, B & C. We only have D left. We’re almost there." Remind your spouse that you started your relationship with integrity – let’s end it there.

9. Don’t just ask what they want

Ask why they want it. Listening helps to break stalemates, calm tension, and inspire creative deals.

10. Avoid negative assumptions about your spouse

Don’t assume your spouse’s position is a deliberate act of provocation. Who knows what’s going through their mind... Fear? Pain? Pressure from family?

11. Email your spouse your proposed terms

Anchor your discussion with an email with proposed terms. Start the discussion there. There’s almost always something you can agree to – and any progress is progress. Start chipping away at what you can agree to so you can spend more time on the things that matter most to you.

Don’t forget to compromise. Remember, your ex isn’t the problem. The problem is the problem. I’ve seen spouses at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, get to an agreement. You can too. And we’re here if you need some help along the way.


Founder, CEO & Certified Family Law Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Insights, Legal Insights
After over a decade of experience as a Certified Family Law Specialist, Mediator and law firm owner, Erin was fed up with the inefficient and adversarial “divorce corp” industry and set out to transform how consumers navigate divorce - starting with the legal process. By automating the court bureaucracy and integrating expert support along the way, Hello Divorce levels the playing field between spouses so that they can sort things out fairly and avoid missteps. Her access to justice work has been recognized by the legal industry and beyond, with awards and recognition from the likes of Women Founders Network, TechCrunch, Vice, Forbes, American Bar Association and the Pro Bono Leadership award from Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Erin lives in California with her husband and two children, and is famously terrible at board games.