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Divorce: The Stereotyping of Men and Women


The anecdotist laments a subdivision of ‘acting’ and ‘feeling’ into gender specific roles.

When operative with separation and divorce, we now consternation if we, as professionals, unwittingly allot such descriptors to a clients, and afterwards strengthen those stereotypes not usually by a kinds of questions we ask, though also by a approach we ask them.

Do we tend to ask group initial about their work and career, about money, debts and assets, their responsibilities around a residence and afterwards ask about their relationships with their children?

Couldn’t we start by seeking group how they feel about a divorce, what it means to them, and keep them on that theme for a small while so they turn some-more gentle pity their feelings with us. It’s substantially a good idea, either you’re a normal attorney, collaborative attorney, mediator, coach, or even a financial professional.

Do we ask women about a children, right off a bat, afterwards about school, activities, and other family relationships? Do we afterwards get around to interrogation about work and career, money, resources and debts, and responsibilities around a house?

If some women seem uninformed about income matters, do we slick over that topic, or could we stay on that theme and puncture deeper for what they do know? So many women have been using a domicile for years and don’t bond that ability with being income managers.

Can we ask a some-more unchanging set of questions to both group and women so that they both respond to questions about money, career, destiny financial planning? Can we ask both women and group to speak about what removing divorced means to them and assistance them linger, even in some worried places?

For example, if a father were my client, we competence say,

  • I know there is a good understanding that we wish to tell me and we guarantee that we will get to it all. we wish to know about all that is critical to you, so can we tell me, how did we get to this place in your marriage where we are now vocalization with a divorce lawyer?

And as a male answers, we would try to keep him on a theme of a divorce itself, how he feels about it, and what it means to him in a context of his family situation. we competence ask what he’s beheld about a reactions of any of a children.

If my customer struggled, we would assistance by seeking shorter and some-more forked questions, such as,

  • How was a preference to divorce made? Did we trigger it? Did your wife? Do we feel like we had an equal contend in how we would proceed? Is this how other critical decisions in your matrimony have been made?

If a mom happens to be my client, we would start in a really identical way, assuring her that we am really meddlesome in a children, her attribute to them and all about how this divorce competence be inspiring them, and yet, we wish to know how she feels about a divorce and how it’s impacting her.

I will also, rather early on in a attorney-client relationship, start seeking a lady about financial matters, to consider her trust and her comfort turn with money. If she minimizes her trust of finances, we would have a array of short, specific follow-up questions, like,

  • Who pays a domicile bills? Do we compensate them on-line? Who shops for a family’s clothing, apparatus etc. Who arranges a family vacation?

Many women and group essay for a some-more equal pity of work and family responsibilities. Nevertheless, in a culture, it is still really common for couples to tumble into some-more normal roles, with courtesy to ‘doing’ and ‘feeling.’

At a time of a divorce, clever feelings often arise about some group wanting to learn about a fuller operation of parenting and family-related activities, while some women need to step adult to a some-more mature understanding of budgeting, investing, retirement planning, etc.

Can we, as partial of a collaborative process, intervention or even a some-more traditional representation, encourage our clients, and even ourselves, to consider about integrating a feelings and a doings into a kind of common experience that will advantage a children, as good as a parents?

If we are really aware about a sequence and kinds of questions we pose, we might be means to miscarry a unreasoning meditative that contributes to stability normal stereotyping of roles.

We can be pure if a customer pushes behind by explaining we are enlivening them, and ourselves to demeanour during a fuller operation of countenance of ‘feelings,’ and ‘doing.’

The poem we review ends with a group and women creating, together, a common prophesy for a future.

Despite a scattered nature of divorce, many relatives eventually come together and cooperate in lifting healthy children. If we professionals do a job, we trust that this outcome becomes some-more likely.

Rita S. Pollak
Partner PollakHeenan Collaborative Law Trainings
Leadership Council Center for Community Dialogue


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