How to Avoid “Buyer’s Remorse” After Your Case Has Settled


Sometimes during a divorce settlement, one person is so eager to settle that they enter into an agreement they later regret—a feeling also known as “buyer’s remorse.”

Since a divorce settlement is a negotiation that requires compromise, rarely do both people receive 100% of their initial requests. But no matter the outcome, it’s important to feel confident and satisfied with the final agreement.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through some things to think about during the process of finalizing your divorce.

What should I consider when entering a settlement?

A couple settling outside court usually has ample time to negotiate terms and reach a final agreement. Occasionally, a settlement needs to be quickly finalized; but that’s the exception to the norm.

If you’re working through a settlement with children involved, it’s important to consider whether the settlement is in your children’s best interests—despite your personal feelings. For example, you may not like the parenting schedule because it means less time with your children. However, if you have no concerns about the other parent, what’s best for your children may differ from what’s best for you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even though your attorney may be very detail-oriented and thorough, they do not know every detail of your personal situation—or how certain settlement terms might affect your day-to-day life. If you feel additional provisions need to be in place for an agreement to work, or if you think your attorney left out a key component, it’s important to address these issues in a timely manner before the settlement is final. Open lines of communication between you and your attorney will only help you get closer to your goals.

What if I’m in mediation?

If you are in mediation, you should never feel pressured to make a decision on the spot—especially if your attorney is not present.

If you are not in mediation, it is particularly important to discuss proposals and different settlement scenarios with your attorney before agreeing to anything. You should always feel fully informed before finalizing terms. Do not let the mediator, your spouse or their attorney twist your arm for the sake of reaching an agreement.

What if we don’t want to settle?

The alternative to settling is going to trial. In weighing the cost of settling, you should also weigh the cost of going to trial—including attorney’s fees—and the risk of a judge ruling on your family’s behalf versus you and your spouse reaching an out-of-court agreement.

If you go to trial, the judge will spend some time hearing arguments, reviewing evidence and listening to testimonies. But they won’t have your entire background, take nuanced details into account, or intimately know you and your family. There is always a risk that the judge’s ruling will be worse than the outcome of a settlement. On the other hand, there is the chance that a judge’s ruling will be better—but that’s a risk you must be willing to take.

It is almost always best if you and your spouse can negotiate an agreement outside of court. This path provides more flexibility and confidentiality, avoids the emotional toll of going to court, and is often more affordable.

Let us help you avoid buyer’s remorse: Contact Stern Perkoski Mendez

If you want to settle your divorce outside of court, the first step is finding an attorney who meets your values, understands your goals and will stand by your side throughout the entire process. Along with my colleagues at Stern Perkoski Mendez, we are seasoned negotiators committed to helping our clients find the best, most amicable resolutions.

If you’re ready to meet, please request a free consultation or call us at (847)-868-9584. We can meet at our offices in Evanston, Chicago, Lake Forest or Oak Brook, or at a location that’s convenient for you.

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For a free consultation, call Stern Perkoski Mendez at (847) 868-9584 or contact us.