The minute you decide that divorce is in your future, your thoughts will turn to fears about your new reality. You’ll wonder – is my divorce settlement fair? You might feel concerned about making enough money to live on your own. Or you might worry that you’ll have to give over large portions of your income to support your ex-spouse and your kids. Some even worry that their divorce will lead to a life of poverty. If one thing is certain, your divorce will create a storm of unknowns.
Your Spouse is Not Your Enemy
The good news in all of this is that your ex-spouse doesn’t have to be your enemy during this process. Despite the stereotypes around vindictive divorces, my experience is that the majority of couples truly want what’s fair for all involved. They want a situation where both parties are provided for and can enjoy a stable future. If the good news is that most divorcing couples do want a fair settlement, the bad new is that fair is an incredibly tricky thing to define. Unfortunately, fair is an incredibly tricky thing to define.
How Do You Define Fair?
There are a lot of things that go into defining what is fair when it comes to a divorce settlement and usually the two different parties have very different ideas. Depending on how much emotional damage happened during the marriage and how many apologies remain unspoken, fair may be on the peaks of two separate mountains cut by a river of resentment. This simple truth has created a multi-billion dollar divorce industry.
So Is My Divorce Settlement Fair or Not? Maybe It’s Time to Let Go of Fair.
This is why some of the best divorce mediators and professionals urge their clients to let go of the need for fairness. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it can help when hope of reaching a mutually beneficial settlement seems lost. Think about it. What would happen if each party didn’t worry about what the other person was getting and instead sat down with a divorce financial planner and simply figured out what they need for themselves to be able to be ok? And then sit down with a mediator and went from there? In this scenario, maybe one person needs more. Maybe it’s not equal. Maybe it’s not “fair.” But maybe it works for everyone involved.
So if the question – is my divorce settlement fair? is taking over you thoughts, think about letting go a little bit. Fair really isn’t the most important thing. What’s important is for you to make it through this divorce and to start focusing on the next phase of your life. By letting go of fairness you can move on in a healthy happy way. You can become the best divorced family you can be. Because the truth is that you are still a family and preserving the integrity of those ties is worthwhile.