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Harmonious divorce proceedings may benefit Virginia couples


Divorce proceedings often can be acrimonious owing to the emotional turmoil of divorce. However, studies have found that a harmonious divorce may lead to better human functioning when handling the mundane activities of the day.

Many couples opt for divorce mediation for calm and compassionate divorce proceedings. A neutral third party sits down with the estranged couple to determines the terms of divorce. Mediation is a good means to an out-of-court settlement where the mediator counsels both parties to an amicable settlement.

Although gender roles are no longer unbending, women may sometimes be concerned that being more educated than their male counterparts might cause martial disharmony. Researchers found that heterosexual marriages were not bound by the customary gender expectations.

A study of marriage roles conducted between 1950 and 2004 found that in many cases, when an educational difference existed between spouses, the woman was usually more educated. In about 30 percent of marriages, women were more educated than their husbands while only 20 percent of marriages showed a more educated husband. However, no nexus was found between more educated wives and greater divorce rates.

Divorces are always more difficult for children. Psychologists agree that most problems faced by children of divorce dissipate within two years, the usual period of adjustment to their new normal. Juxtaposed, children living in an acrimonious family setup with married parents were more likely to face problems than the ones who lived in peaceful divorced homes. Couples were encouraged to co-parent their children and keep any ill-will toward their exes away from the children.

Sudden changes may be harder for children to face. Therefore, parents were advised to talk to the children a few weeks before separating. As a general rule of thumb, children prospered when they maintained a close relationship with both parents. Parents could participate in educational programs to further understand how to co-parent amidst divorce proceedings.

Source: APA.org, "Healthy divorce: how to make your split as smooth as possible," Accessed on Aug. 1, 2014

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