ERIC Number: ED239173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Determinants of Successful Divorce Settlement Outcomes.
Hochberg, Allan M.; Kressel, Kenneth
Despite the rapidly rising divorce rate and the importance of the divorce settlement agreement for the spouses' financial and emotional well-being, factors influencing the effectiveness of divorce negotiations have received very little attention. To assess the major determinants of successful divorce negotiations between divorcing spouses and their lawyers, 90 recent divorcees completed a 14 page Divorce Settlement Experience Questionnaire (DSEQ). In addition, interviews were conducted with 14 of the subjects who represented six of the best and eight of the worst divorce outcomes. The DSEQ assessed 18 separate predictor variables. Both the DSEQ and the interview surveyed the same major areas, including characteristics of the spouses and their relationship, the role of lawyers, and the quality of the divorce outcomes. A cooperative negotiating orientation by both the parties and their attorneys, resource availability, and client involvement in the negotiations were consistently associated with successful outcomes. Respondent dissatisfaction was most strongly associated with clients who viewed their emotional well-being as poor, clients who did not feel confident or knowledgeable during the settlement process, couples who were apprehensive about communicating with each other or had major differences over settlement terms, and lawyers who did not have a counselor orientation. Subjects with poor outcomes and a third of the good outcome cases were dissatisfied with the present legal system and often with the nature of their relationship with their lawyers. Several respondents advocated some form of mediation as an alternative to the present adversarial system. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Negotiation Processes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).