How Your Psychological Profile Determines the Best Way to Divorce
In a recent blog on Psychology Today online, the author talks about how a couple’s psychological profile can determine the best divorce process for them. The blog discusses how matching a couple’s personalities, beliefs, and goals to a certain type of divorce offers the greatest benefit.
- Collaborative divorce — This process allows spouses, their attorneys and other professionals (when necessary) to “work together to reach an agreement that feels fair and equitable to both spouses,” going so far as to “agree in writing at the outset of the collaborative process to refrain from litigation in the event of a dispute.” Couples who are best suited to the collaborative process are those who “value and strive towards an amicable outcome.” Collaborative divorce comes with a huge downside, however; if the process doesn’t work for you, you must start over again from scratch with a new attorney to represent you.
- Negotiated settlement — If you feel the need for a greater sense of security, having an attorney do your speaking for you across a conference table can offer the protection you seek. It also means that individual spouses can avoid hard conversations while their lawyers work out thorny details. But you have less control over the process, so the result you get is only as good as the attorney you have representing you.
- Arbitration — In this alternative process to litigation, parties submit their unresolved issues to a third party who will make a final, binding decision. This process may appeal to spouses looking for reassurance and finality who recognize they can’t resolve their differences on their own. But it also gives you even less control over the outcome than traditional negotiation; you are putting your future in the hands of an arbitrator who knows nothing more about your family than they learn during the arbitration hearings.
- Mediation — In mediation, couples work with a mediator, a neutral third party, who helps them reach an agreement. So it is best suited to couples who respect each other, are honest about their goals, desire an “equal bargaining strength,” and are committed to reaching an amicable resolution. Mediation allows spouses to “retain a sense of civility and shared purpose, which can psychologically help ease the pain of their separation.” However, as the blog author warns: “Mediation is not recommended for couples who have a history of domestic violence, whose animosity will preclude them from working in a collaborative manner, or where there is a power differential that makes advocating without the help of an attorney difficult.”
If your psychological profile leans towards mediation, you should also consider the savings in time and money that generally come through mediation. Plus, divorce mediation has the added benefit of being a process that can yield partial results. With mediation, even if you only reach an agreement on one or two of your principle issues, it will still be time and money well spent.
To learn more about mediating your divorce, call Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. at 1.631.683.8172 or contact our Long Island office online.psychological