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Psychology and the role it can play in property division

If you’ve ever held a conversation with the opposite sex and found yourself muttering the phrase, “you just don’t get what I’m saying,” you’re not alone. That’s because, whether you realize it or not, men and women have very different ways of communicating — much to the frustration of the opposite sex.

You may not have considered it but this difference in communication can actually create problems during the divorce process, most notably during the property division step. In this week’s post, we wanted to look at the psychology of men and women and how it can play a role in this important part of the divorce process.

According to many psychologists, women are typically very relationship-focused. In most cases, they make decisions based on how it will affect someone else or the relationship they have with that person. Though this compassion and empathy are by no means a bad thing, they can make a woman more likely to accept a smaller settlement or concede in arguments out of fear of how prolonged litigation could affect their soon-to-be ex-spouse.

On the other hand, men are a little different. They typically focus on task-specific goals that do not take relationships into consideration. Because of this seeming detachment, they oftentimes make requests and decisions in the property division process that would most benefit their own needs rather than the needs of their spouse. They are more likely to be firm in their requests for a fair spilt of assets and are less likely to concede on certain issues.

Though these psychological traits create contentions during a divorce and the property division step for some couples here in San Francisco, it’s important to point out that they won’t be a factor for all couples. Whether they do or don’t become an issue though, it’s good for our readers to know that they can turn at any time to a lawyer for help with their separation.

Source: The American Psychological Association, “That’s mine! Property division in divorce,” ve M. Brank, JD, PhD, and Amanda B. Hussein, November 2012, Accessed Nov. 18, 2014