ERIC Number: ED172121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Satisfaction With the Legal System and Adjustment to Marital Separation.
Anderson, Elaine A.
The rise in the American divorce rate since the early 1960's emphasizes the need to examine the factors associated with adjustment to marital separation. The impact of the legal system upon post-separation adjustment in Pennsylvania, which has adversary divorce statutes, is explored with 205 individuals, separated 26 months or less. Satisfaction with the legal system is significantly greater when either the reported relationship between the lawyer and the separated individual or the reported feelings toward the decisions in the settlement problems index, the economic issues, are more positive. Those respondents most highly satisfied with the legal system were more likely to report better adjustment to the separation if they had not been encouraged by the lawyer to create an adversary relationship with their former spouse than if they had been encouraged to create an adversary relationship. Also, the fewer the number of instrumental functions, such as child issues, with which the respondent is involved, the better the reported adjustment to the separation. Divorce statutes based on an adversary model encourage collusion and do not enhance adjustment to a new life situation. Therefore, the present adversary divorce statutes may not reflect the current custody, economic, or property issues of marriage and divorce. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.; Institute of Life Insurance, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Minnesota Family Study Center.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 19-22, 1978)