What's Your Divorce Strategy?


According to psychologists, as well as many Pasadena divorce lawyers, people seeking a divorce typically use one of two strategies to handle the process: reciprocal altruism or social Darwinism.

Reciprocal altruism is essentially the "Golden Rule" that many of us learned as children. We treat others nicely in the hopes that they will reciprocate by treating us well. For example, a woman might let her husband keep the expensive home entertainment system from their living room in the hopes that he will allow her to keep their antique dining set.

Social Darwinism is a "dog eat dog" or "only the strong survive" approach to getting a divorce. A social Darwinist views compromise as a sign of weakness. In the scenario mentioned above, for example, the social Darwinist would demand to be allowed to keep both the home entertainment system and the antique dining set. A social Darwinist wants the bigger portion of the settlement and doesn't care what the consequences of his or her actions would be.

Typically, reciprocal altruism is most likely to result in an amicable divorce that is quickly settled. When both parties realize the need to compromise, coming to a mutually agreeable settlement is a much easier process.

When both spouses are social Darwinists, the divorce will likely turn into a long and costly courtroom battle. If a couple can't settle their differences on their own, the judge will ultimately have to make the final decision. In the end, both parties are likely to be left unhappy with the experience.

If you are a reciprocal altruist and your spouse is a social Darwinist, you need to have an assertive Pasadena divorce lawyer who can make sure that your interests are protected throughout the negotiation process. He or she can help you walk the fine line between being willing to compromise and being taken advantage of.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of an experienced divorce lawyer, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena family law lawyers can provide assistance with all aspects of the divorce process.