Winning In Divorce. Is That Possible?

Chances are, if you’re going through a divorce or have already gotten a divorce, at some point, you’ve wanted to “win” against your ex. Winning in divorce. Is that possible? Human beings are competitive by nature. That’s why so many of us enjoy watching sports- it’s fun to root for someone to win. When it comes to divorce, though, there is no “winner”. One party may get more custody or more of the marital assets, but in the end, no one really “wins”. Here are 5 reasons why this is true.

Why There Is No Winning In Divorce:

  • There’s no such thing as fair when it comes to divorce
  • Declaring a winner implies that something is over, but the healing process is just beginning
  • Things that were once whole are now divided (e.g. marital assets, custody)
  • No one gets everything they ask for in a divorce
  • It’s hard to celebrate the end of something you hoped would last a lifetime

Fair- The “F” Word in Divorce

Since the idea of fairness is rooted in one’s own perspective and perception, it can be difficult to articulate what is actually a fair settlement in a divorce. One spouse may think remaining in the marital home is fair, while the other may think equal custody of the children is a fair outcome. Many who work in family law refer to fair as the “f” word in divorce, because it is such a difficult thing to define, and not really attainable.

Signing Divorce Papers is Just the Beginning

A lot of spouses think that as soon as the divorce papers are signed, it’s over- you’re free! While that may be true in many aspects, the paperwork being signed is really just the beginning of the most important process of all-healing. There is no timeline for healing. Some divorcees move on with their lives rather quickly, while others take several years to feel like they are happy again. Try not to compare your healing process with someone else’s. Just like every marriage is different, so is every divorce.

More Than the Couple Gets Divided

Divorce is all about division. You’re dividing as a couple, but you’re also dividing assets, debts, child custody, and more. Very rarely does anyone walk away from a divorce with everything. You have to set realistic expectations when it comes to your divorce by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is essential?
  • What can I live without?
  • What is on my “wish list”?

Start at the top with the essentials, and be willing to compromise the more you work your way down the list of questions. If you choose to fight over everything, chances are, you will end up in a bitter court battle that will end up costing more time and money than it’s worth. You’re not giving up or giving in by setting realistic expectations about the outcome of your divorce; you’re actually protecting yourself.

“Winning” Implies Victory

Even if you absolutely despise your ex, it’s hard to celebrate the end of something you entered into with so many hopes and dreams. A majority of people don’t get married with the intention of getting a divorce. Coming to terms with the fact that what you poured so much time and effort into is now over is not an easy thing to do.

Instead of celebrating someone winning or losing the divorce process, focus on finding peace with the outcome. If you really want to “win” at something, turn your attention towards winning at the healing process by working on your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Related Healing Process After Divorce Blog Topics:

More Resources:

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


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