Divorces may be not only bitter and acrimonious but also very costly to the two parties as lawyers' fees accumulate. The following hypothetical divorce will illustrate how AW could be used to save heartache and money.
It is presented in Negotiating to Settlement in Divorce (1987, pp. 166 - 169), a manual for lawyers. Suppose Bob and Carol have decided to get a divorce. There are three major issues to be resolved: custody, alimony, and the house. Bob and Carol assign points as specified in the table below. Put the mouse over the numbers to see the justification for the point assignment. The justifications are quotations taken from Negotiating to Settlement in Divorce.
Item |
Bob |
Carol |
Custody (sole) |
23 |
65 |
Alimony |
60 |
25 |
House |
15 |
10 |
Total |
100 |
100 |
To see a justification for these points click here
Under AW, Carol wins sole custody of John (their son), whereas Bob gets his way on alimony, and, initially, gets the house. However, Bob ends up with 75 points (60 + 15) and Carol with only 65 points. So Bob must give back some points on the house, which has the smallest ratio of Bob's points to Carol's points (15/10 = 1.5).
Let p denote the proportion that Bob will retain, and (1-p) the proportion that Carol will retain. Then p must satisfy the following equation:
Solving for p gives p = 15/25 = 3/5. So Bob is entitled to 60 percent, and Carol to 40 percent, of the house. In terms of points, Bob will get 69 points [60 + 15(3/5) = 60 + 9 = 69], and so will Carol [65 + 10(2/5) = 65 + 4 = 69].