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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

The Venus-Mars factor in property division, does it exist?

You've probably heard of the book, "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." Avid Texas readers of the appropriate age will remember that this book of the early 1990s sought to explain that many common issues in the relationships of men and women could be attributed to the fundamental psychological differences of the two sexes.

If you check out information about the book on Wikipedia, you will find that not everyone bought into that premise. We accept that Wikipedia deserves to be taken with a grain of salt. However, it's interesting to note that there are those who criticize the book as pandering to stereotypes that they say aren't valid.

Whether that's true or not is not going to be settled here. What we write about today is another publication that suggests that there are psychological differences, related to gender, that deserve to be considered during divorce, especially as they might apply to spouses fairly dividing community property.

According to the work in the annals of the American Psychological Association, two University of Pennsylvania psychologists have concluded from their research that women and men approach the task of negotiating differently. Specifically, women tend to allow concern for the effects of the outcome on relationships to influence their positions at the bargaining table. Men, however, look at the process with an eye toward achieving individual goals.

The doctors say more research is needed to understand exactly how this difference in negotiating, along with other psychological factors, might affect couples in divorce. In the meantime, they suggest that the research indicates women may be more inclined to give up monetary benefits they're entitled to because of this psychological difference. Women also appear to be more averse to pressing for more, fearing they could lose bigger if the case is litigated.

We would offer that what this research seems to be saying is that all parties in a divorce should be working with skilled and experienced lawyers to be sure their rights are being protected.

Source:, " Property division in divorce," ve M.Brank, JD, PhD, and Amanda B. Hussein, accessed Aug. 12, 2016

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