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Wisconsin Family Law Articles

Shifting from Scarcity Thinking to an Abundance Mentality During Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, it can feel like the main objective is to hold onto everything you have at any cost. For some people, after the case is filed, their first instinct is to panic and respond to their fear by becoming inflexible when it comes to a potential settlement. This reaction is understandable given what is at stake. The decisions made during your case can impact everything from your financial well-being to how often you will be seeing your children. However, when you view case decisions as indivisible, finite resources, you run the risk of developing unrealistic expectations and limiting your options. By shifting from scarcity thinking to an abundance mentality during divorce, you may find a better way to resolve your case.

What is Scarcity Thinking?

In its most basic form, Scarcity Thinking is a point of view or way of looking at a situation as if there is only a limited amount of something. This mindset assumes that if one person is getting a part of a whole, another must be denied a portion. In other words, there is one source for everything, and when something is taken from it, that means others will have less to divide among themselves. A commonly used example is a pie. If one piece is taken, that’s one less slice for everyone else.

What is Abundance Mentality?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, abundance mentality is an outlook premised on the belief system that there is more than enough for everyone. If one person gets something, that does not mean that there is less in the world for another person. Individuals who think with an abundance mentality are often secure in knowing that there is enough of everything and that what they need will be provided. If someone takes a piece of pie and you have an abundance mentality, there is plenty of pie for everyone, and more pie is always available.

Staying in a Scarcity Mentality During Divorce

The way that you view your divorce can directly affect the outcome. Looking at the process with a scarcity mentality means being fearful and distrustful and taking the approach that you have to hold onto everything as tightly as possible. You can choose to be inflexible and refuse to negotiate with your ex. But this approach won't change the fact that Wisconsin is a community property state. This means that outside of certain limited exceptions, the income and assets you acquired during the marriage belong to you and your ex equally. Your mentality may also not make any difference when it comes to decisions about your children. If you and your ex are both adequate parents, the law favors joint legal custody and a placement schedule that lets kids see both of their parents regularly. Likewise, if you were married for several years and your ex stayed home or passed on to college or getting ahead in their career to raise the children or make a home, the court may consider ordering spousal maintenance. Going through your case in an unrealistic manner and fearfully is likely to work against you and will only create more conflict between you and your ex.

Shifting to an Abundance Mentality

Divorce is stressful and emotional, and it can be challenging to see anything positive about the experience. Having an abundance mentality does not mean pretending that what you are going through isn't painful or hard. Shifting to abundance thinking is about accepting that certain events are taking place—the end of your marriage and the tasks of divorce-- but also remembering that everything doesn't have to be a win-lose proposition.

Yes, you may have to divide your money, decide who gets your home, and work out legal custody and physical placement. On the surface, these decisions may feel like slices of a pie that have to be served to each side. However, these are crucial steps that must be taken so that you and your ex can get to the next phases of your lives. Having an abundance mentality means seeing these tasks as necessary to transition to more possibilities in your life.
Throughout the process, looking at the divorce this way could help you be more open to negotiations and increase your chances of reaching a reasonable settlement with your ex. You may also be able to see your choices as being about more than just money or keeping score. When you are secure in knowing that you will have what you need, your decisions can be based on what is right for your future and good for your children rather than keeping resources away from your ex.

Consult with an Experienced Wisconsin Family Law Attorney

Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law has extensive experience helping clients evaluate the circumstances of their Wisconsin divorce. She understands the complexities of life before, during, and after divorce and can help you access the resources you need at every stage.

Come in, and let's take a “first look” at your situation so you can figure out your next steps.

Please contact us today to set up your consultation.