Attorney Rory Coetzee

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Writers
    Writers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Fairness in family law disputes

Posted by on in Family Law
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 2006
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

b2ap3_thumbnail_Family-posing-on-sofa.jpgRarely does anyone walk into a divorce, child custody, domestic violence or child support hearing actively hoping that the judge will uphold an unfair result. In matters of family law, participants generally hope that issues are resolved fairly. However, the concept of what is fair in the eyes of one individual may not be the same as what is fair in the eyes of another. Scientific studies indicate that individuals are ordinarily affected by a phenomenon called the self-interest bias. This bias greatly informs what we perceive to be fair in matters of family law and what we do not.

Simply explained, the self-interest bias informs our perceptions of what contributions we have made to our children's parenting, our marriages and our relationships generally. It therefore informs what we believe we deserve in the ultimate outcome of family law disputes. Generally, the self-interest bias causes each person to overestimate their personal contributions and underestimate those of the opposing party.

When the self-interest bias is strong, it can both cause individuals to seek outcomes that they may not completely deserve and to feel that the process has failed them when an outcome does not match their expectations.

Of course, unfair outcomes are handed down in family law cases, just as they are in criminal cases and personal injury cases. The system is not perfect and as a result, deserving people sometimes are handed grossly unfair outcomes in family law matters. But for the most part, the system seeks fair outcomes within the bounds set by statutory law. If your concept of fairness in your dispute is strongly informed by the self-interest bias, it may benefit you to step back and look at your situation more objectively in order to gain the most from the process and conclude it without disappointment tied to unrealistic expectations.

Source: Huffington Post, "When the Law Is Involved, Do Notions Of Fairness Matter?" Mark Baer, July 29, 2013

Rate this blog entry:


  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Thursday, 16 August 2018


  • Monterey Divorce Lawyer

    587 Hartnell Street
    Monterey, CA 93940-2822
    Tel: (831) 275-1191
    Fax:(831) 275-1197


sign up for email updates. We will make sure you are the first to hear Legal news .


Legal Request or Questions?