Love represents strong positive feelings for someone or something. You may love your family, your job or your home. You may love the idea of finding happiness and someone new after your divorce. But realistically many of us never really love our divorce settlements.

It seems obvious why we wouldn't, but somehow, we still feel less than settled with the outcome. What can we do to get over our losses and move on?

You deserved better

By the time our divorce is completed, many of us just want to forget our failed marriage, our ex and the divorce itself.  

We don't really want to do the divorce autopsy to realize all the parts of it and ourselves that don't help us move forward with our lives.  But somehow, we still obsess and add to our emotional damage as we perhaps enter into another relationship that statistically is likely to end the same way.

The settlement and judgement of divorce was a big part of the divorce process.  No matter how many articles we read that told us to separate our brain from our heart, our money from our emotions, we just couldn't seem to help ourselves from wanting a legal representation of the pain our spouse had caused.  We wanted him/her to pay or be cut off from our support for the pain we experienced.

You're not alone

No matter what side you're on, you won't be the first spouse to have emotionally unloaded on your attorney for something your spouse did, and attorney failed to put a dollar sign on. 

You won't be the first to wake up a year after your divorce and think your spouse got a better deal. 

Maybe it won't take a year, maybe it will take a week, a month or ten years.  But many of us, including your spouse, eventually wake up and think, "WTF?!".

But why?  How can both sides feel like the other got the better settlement?

Settlement Analysis

There are only two sides to your settlement/judgement despite numerous sources, witnesses, attorneys, investigators, financial advisors and accountants.  The more people involved, the more complicated the process may seem.  You may feel the settlement wasn't developed with you in mind. 

And while there are only two sides, you and your spouse, each side has two divorces to consider: legal and emotional.

Legal Divorce

Despite differences that are recognized in each of your contributions to the relationship, that aren't always recognized financially, the legal division is primarily financial.  The professionals listed above utilize their skills in order to determine a monetary worth of each spouse's contributions. 

They take out the "separate property" and negotiate the balance and support to get one large "something" divided into two, smaller, separate “somethings”.  Not easy and not always equal according to each side.  But it's divided.  And when a judgment has been entered, once out of the control of the trial court, outside of wrongdoing and/or legally deemed otherwise justified for an appeal, it's final.  As in, completely over-

Modifications?  Sure.  But know that many judges take issue with a request for modification immediately following an agreement for which you agreed and/or without consistent and significant change(s) (i.e., job transfer, increase/decrease in income or other material change).  Modifications usually only refer to child or spousal support, child custody orders, visitation schedule but not division of marital property/debts. 

So, " I don't think my judgement was equal", won't cut it.


In a basic divorce that goes to court, there are accounting opinions, legal opinions and marriage faults that you may not initially understand, like or agree.  The court considers these sources, opinions, ability of support, assets, finances, income, taxes, liabilities and contributions (to name a few), mixes them with your grounds for divorce (if applicable) and your state's divorce laws to finally determine your terms of the divorce.  Again, not easy.  Nor will it seem completely even, fair or without loss on either side.  And this was a basic divorce.

Regardless if the judge decides the terms of the Final Judgement of Divorce or if you each concede in some way to reach a settlement, it's a negotiation to divide. 

You are not selling or buying. 

You are not getting one thing for the other.

You are literally getting divided, and it will totally feel that way.  As you can see in a basic divorce there are a lot of moving parts to consider.   Even if it is a "no fault" divorce or DIY, you will have feelings of loss, regret and frustration when you "wake up" with less.  

Emotional Divorce

Now, enter the emotional divorce.  This is the period of time from when you realized the end of your marriage to your acceptance of your new life without your former spouse.

When you add in the emotional divorce, the anger, blame and frustration will likely throw, even the most "well-adjusted", "peace promoting" spouse right over the edge!  Not only have you divided your home, family and finances, but each is co-mingled with heart break.  

While many of us understand the frustration regarding the legal part of the divorce; we don't realize how damaging our emotions can be on establishing an appropriate settlement.  We know we feel grief and loss, we just may not realize how much these feelings negatively affect the process to achieve an efficient and fair legal outcome for years to come.

Once our emotional drunkenness wears off, we may be left wondering what the hell we were thinking. 

In fact, we weren’t really thinking.  We were experiencing, reacting and for most of us, feeling absolutely devastated.  If not for the loss of our spouse, then for the loss of our spousal identity, time with our kids, half our assets & household income and more.  Some of us were feeling guilty, some were angry, sad.  If we weren't even a little emotionally off-balance, there'd likely be something wrong us.

So, if the settlement doesn't invoke a feeling of disappointment in one aspect of the division of our marriage and life; then it gets us on the other issues regarding our assets, livelihood and contributions to our family.

Who can we blame?

There are always people to blame in a divorce (our ex, our attorney, ourselves). There are always issues that arise out of divorce that don’t just affect our life.  It rips it apart. We do most of this with blinders on, responding to our emotions without really understanding why we feel the way we do.

The settlement and/or judgement becomes an easy target.  The more we build our pain around it, the more the pain from it grows and the true source of our pain is cloaked.

Take off your settlement and judgement goggles

It seems obvious and simple in this article, but in our minds and hearts we only feel the pain and associate it with that "awful settlement" or that awful judge who determined our loss.  The more we do that, the more it hides the opportunity to truly start over.  It can cause us to continue to see our future through the lens of our past.

It makes getting over it so much more difficult because there's a physical piece of paper that represents our pain.  We can associate every support payment or our new housing situation with that pain.  Instead of acknowledging it only as a representation of our past and removal of a bad marriage that wasn't good for us; we allow it to remain a barrier to our goals and personal happiness.

The divorce diet

You may never really love your settlement or your divorce.  That's ok.  When you diet, you may never really love letting go of foods that are bad for you.  The purpose of dieting isn’t necessarily to love the diet.  Rather accept it as a means to get to a healthier, better you.   Your divorce, the settlement/judgement are sorta' like that diet.

Don't feed the negative feelings you have for your divorce, settlement or ex.  Allow time to reduce those feelings naturally as you allow the vision of a happier you to take over. You do this by adding good, positive activities and relationships to offset any negative energy your divorce has left behind.

Yes, your divorce and settlement will affect your life for many years.  Make your settlement part of your new life direction instead of the new life direction.  As you do, it will become less important as your life continues to evolve in a positive new direction. 


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