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Divorce settlement personality styles - Are you a diplomat or a general?

APRIL 16, 2018

A diplomat is someone who is tactful and skillful in managing delicate situations and handling people. After assessing the needs and interests of all interested parties, the diplomat uses that information to propose solutions that will benefit all involved.


A general is also skillful in managing delicate and difficult situations but looks more for solutions that will benefit his or her side. The general focuses more on tactics rather than tact to accomplish goals and is not so concerned with understanding other people's needs.


When working on your divorce and parenting settlements, your underlying personality style will largely dictate the course of the process. So, which are you, diplomat or general?


Diplomats are much more likely to seek out a reasonable attorney or mediation to resolve their family issues. They are comfortable with the give and take they know will be necessary to reach a settlement.  Diplomats tend to look for win-win solutions that meet their needs and are also fair to the other side.


As much as diplomats want to be fair, they also want to be treated fairly. Their willingness to compromise is not a sign of weakness. Even though they would rather determine their own outcome, diplomats are willing to seek the court's help if they feel they are not being taken seriously or treated fairly.


Generals will often seek out an attorney who encourages one-sided thinking. Generals might agree to participate in a process like mediation but are much more skeptical about whether it will work. They often already have a particular solution in mind and can't see any other resolution to the issue. They're rigidly attached to their own ideas and are reluctant to discuss other options that might benefit both parties.


Although generals appear to be comfortable with taking their fight to court, they are often the ones who will seek a last-minute settlement. After accepting such settlements, however, generals often complain bitterly about how unfairly they were treated.


In settling your divorce, if both of you are diplomats you will likely find success with a process that allows you to explore the many options that will meet the unique needs of your family. If one of you is a diplomat and the other a general, your road to settlement might be a bit rockier but settlement is still possible even if slightly less satisfying.


If you are both generals, you can still reach an agreement outside of court with the help of skilled attorneys or a process like mediation. It will be much more rewarding if you are successful at reaching your own agreement. Although, you can always go to court if your settlement efforts fail, you have nothing to lose and much to gain by trying to settle your disputes outside of court.


© 2016, 2018 The Wollard Law Firm, PC dba Foothills Family Law

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