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NCJ Number: 97655 Find in a Library
Title: Divorce Mediation - Therapists in the Legal World
Journal: American Journal of Family Therapy  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1985)  Pages:3-10
Author(s): L Marlow
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper analyzes the assumptions implicit in the legal profession's model of divorce and argues their inadequacies and inappropriateness.
Abstract: The question of whether divorce is a legal event is raised; the principal reason given to justify that divorce is primarily a legal event is provided: divorce is regulated by the law. However, divorce, like marriage, is a personal event that has only legal implications. The paper refutes the idea that separating and divorcing couples must seek legal counsel, first to determine their legal rights and then to protect those rights. Additionally, the paper debunks the myth that what is at issue in a couple's separation and divorce is the determination of their respective legal rights. This misconception is due to a failure to distinguish between two types of law that a State enacts. The first category is generally constitutional in nature, guaranteeing citizens right to vote, speak, or practice the religion of their choice. The second category contains the numerous laws which are enacted to regulate society's conduct or simply to resolve disputes; these laws represent legal rules rather than legal rights. The application of these rules and principles is ineffective in deciding disputes between separating and divorcing couples. The legal system elevates conflicting interests to an absolute, destroying the possibility of compromise. Divorce mediation is suggested as a viable means of resolving the personal conflicts of marriage. Seven references are included.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Divorce mediation; Mediation; Mediators
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