Simply Do What Salespeople Do

Anyone who has ever transacted business knows you must be nice to a customer if you wish to make a sale. Being nasty to a customer is stupid and is bad for business.

If you are going through a divorce and you want an out-of-court settlement, your spouse is the customer – the one you must sell to. It follows, therefore, that you should be nice to your spouse. You must do this if you want to persuade him/her to compromise and agree a settlement that you find acceptable.

Let’s face it. If you don’t want a court battle (and you don’t use a gun or you don’t hypnotize or lobotomize your partner), what other means do you have of motivating your soon-to-be ex-spouse to agree to a settlement they don’t want to agree to?

This is where salesmanship comes in. It’s all we have left..

Why should you be nice to this person? Because this is how you beat the system and keep your divorce from becoming unnecessarily painful and expensive. It boils down to this:

Act nicely toward your spouse, no matter what.

Act nicely even though they don’t deserve it.

Act nicely even if every inch of your being tells you to do otherwise.

You don’t do it for them; you do it because it helps you get what you want. Please don’t brush this off as some talk show, touchy-feely gobbledygook. Try it. It works for reasonable people and there is no downside.

Now, as much as we would all like to control the pain and expense of our divorce, most people tend to draw the line at the “being nice” part.  They find it downright unthinkable and rank it right up there with giving birth to an elephant.

Being nice during divorce flies in the face of what we know. We are taught to fight for our interests and to never show weakness in front of the opposition. However, if there is a better negotiation technique, the professional negotiators don’t know about it. And, if they don’t know about it, it doesn’t exist. 

Someone must be nice first, or a calm and quick settlement is not going to happen.

Are you willing to bet a hefty legal fee that your spouse will be that person? 

Thus, when your soon-to-be-ex is trying to stick it to you – whether in truth or just in your imagination – why should you be nice? Why should you care about their feelings, fears, or concerns?

There is one power impact answer to these questions.

The fact is you do it to avoid a long, bad, ugly, divisive, and expensive divorce. We do it to save your dignity, mental stability, and physical health, and for the welfare of your children.

If you’re still resisting this approach, please ask yourself these questions:

  • Which do you dislike more: the prospect of being nice to your spouse or the prospect of throwing money away?
  • Which of these would be more distasteful to you: being pleasant to someone who does not deserve it or giving money to someone who does not deserve it?
  • Who would you rather give a new car to: your lawyer’s kid or your own kid? Similarly, whose child would you prefer to put through college?

Being nice does not mean being weak; it means being smart.

We welcome hearing from you and we invite your questions. There is no obligation. No one will ever know that we spoke or what we discussed. Everything you say is privileged, confidential, and completely classified. We do not maintain a mailing list and will not contact you unless you ask us to.

Contacting us is easy!

Call 630-928-0600 


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Kari and Richard are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 80 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook and DuPage counties.