Interest Based Decision Making

When we refer to interests, we’re talking about basic needs that are related to your core goals in life.  By contrast, aposition is simply a way of stating what you want, regardless of whether or not it addresses a need.

Common positions heard from clients include:

  • I want permanent spousal support.
  • I want temporary spousal support.
  • I want all of the tax exemptions.
  • I was child support that equals the state guidelines.
  • I want to have the children 50 percent of the time.
  • I want to keep my retirement account.
  • I want my name off all the debts.

So what makes these statements positions instead of interests?

  • It’s not immediately clear why you want what you say you want.
  • These statements do not necessarily relate to core needs or values.
  • It’s not clear that the client truly understands what some of the terms mean.
  • It is possible that the client could obtain something of equal value through another method.
  • Each of these statements tends to create a win-lose scenario in that only one person ends up with the thing that he or she identified.

**The preceding is an expert from The Collaborative Way to Divorce: The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier Kids-Without Going to Court.