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Divorce and decision making: the need for emotional balance

The emotional element in divorce should never be underestimated. 

After all, divorce often hits people at their most vulnerable points. And this can be especially true when difficult child custody or property division issues are involved.

To be sure, it is important to approach such issues rationally, seeking to make good, fact-based decisions. But as human beings, for all our thinking and information-processing power, we are emotional beings at our core -- and this inevitably affects the decisions we make in seeking, or moving forward after, a divorce.

Of course, the gender dynamics in dealing with the divorce process can be quite different for men and women. For example, statistics show that women far more than men are the ones who tend to initiate the process.

Indeed, women start about twice as many divorce proceedings as men.

It is therefore only natural that sometimes men feel emotionally overwhelmed when they are surprised by a wife's decision to separate or seek a divorce.

This emotional response for men occurs despite the stereotype that women are more emotional than men.

For both men and women, however, it is important to keep emotional responses balanced with a vision of how to move forward after divorce.

In divorces that include child custody arrangements, crafting a new life that makes sense for the children can be a crucial proving ground for parents to show the necessary emotional balance. For example, it may be possible to agree upon the amount of child support, rather than engaging in emotional and extended arguments about it.

Source: Huffington Post, "7 Upsides in the Aftermath of Divorce," Nancy Flagan, September 10, 2013

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