The Compromise Shall Set You Free!

I often see people in the midst of a divorce most frustrated by the fact that the divorce seems to be taking such a long time. It’s probably one of the most common questions. When will this be done, and why is it taking so long?!

As with most things, the answer often lies within you. We often get upset that our spouse is being unreasonable, or won’t accept our reasonable settlement offer. I often see my very own clients focused entirely on what they are accusing the other side of doing: fixating on their own settlement position.

This is not to say that your settlement position isn’t reasonable. But at some point, when you’ve reached an impasse, there often IS a way out that you’re just not seeing. And that is compromise. And yes, sometimes that means more compromise.

I know what you’re thinking: But I have compromised! Why do I have to be the one to compromise more!?

At this point, you have two options, if you really want to be done. (1) Compromise more and be done, or (2) continue to wait for the other side to compromise. Which one do you think will happen faster?

If you have time and you’re in no hurry, then by all means, wait it out. But if you’re crying, kicking, screaming, and pleading for this to just be done already, there is a way out.

Once you get to this point, think about this: what more can I really compromise to get this done without it having a great impact on the next five years of my life? Often times, we really just get stuck on “winning.” We can’t emotionally or psychologically come to terms with compromise, because we think we’re just giving in. But does it really make sense to keep it going just to prove something? What are you really proving anyway?

If you really want to be done, you should settle for what you’re entitled to, and maybe even give up a few of those things too, rather than fixating on what you want. You won’t ever get everything you want in a divorce. No one does. But like Mick Jagger says, sometimes you get what you need.

Okay, so you want to compromise. How do you do that? Decide what it is that you really need to move forward. Keep a list of what you want vs. what you need. If you can get the “wants” then by all means, do so. But when it’s time – I mean, really time – to get out of Dodge, the compromise is what will set you free! Our freedom – or lack of it – is the product of our choices.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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