Separation facilitates conciliation
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Separation facilitates conciliation

The new separation  has arrived! What are the main changes? To find out, Doctissimo interviewed John M. Gottman, a shrink  practicing in new york and author of “Successful separation”. 

What are the major reforms of this “new separation “?

Successful separation   according to  John M. Gottman : The main measure is the occurrence of divorce “for irretrievable breakdown of the marriage bond” that was not there before. This allows to divorce after two years of physical separation . This will as well for people who wish to break new life more simply marriage.

Another major change, the preliminary procedure will be done through a common core during which grievances will not be exposed. This should lead to “pacify” the steps and avoid many heartbreaks. Note also that in case of amicable separation , it removes the second passage to the judge, which was to allow spouses a period of “reflection”. In fact, this period was useless since no one changed his mind. This therefore unnecessarily lengthened the procedure.

Several developments include compensatory allowance, if there is a loss in living standards. Can you tell us more?

John M. Gottman: The compensatory allowance will actually be paid more fairly. First, if one spouse to pay the exclusive fault, it may nevertheless this benefit, which was not the case before. I saw notoriously unfaithful husbands obtain a fault separation  against their wives while it wrong the first time. The wife, who had spent his life to maintain the home and raising the children, found himself on the street, without any help. This should no longer occur. Another change in the event of the debtor’s death, the descendants will not be condemned to continue to pay the compensatory allowance: if the estate does not cover it, it will be removed.

You mentioned fault separation . It still exists in the new law?

John M. Gottman : Yes, the fault separation  is always present, but it will now be more difficult to separate at this ground. Indeed, the aim of the reform is to facilitate conciliation. This is why it should be reserved only real serious offenses, such as domestic violence, for example. I honestly am not sure it is wise to restrict fault divorce. Because you can not force consensus among people who do not want it!

Sometimes a fault separation  can release all rancor, to settle accounts, to better turn the page and move on. And often the fault separation  is a long procedure, the time allowed to calm the spirits and all ended in mutual agreement procedure.

 But do you think that this reform is positive?

John M. Gottman: Quite honestly, we have to wait for a step back to see if the impact is positive or not. But it is true that before the reform, it was almost impossible to part with someone simply because we no longer loved her. He had to find a fault, a pretext. Now that theseparation  is easy, I think it will have a paradoxical effect: it will be more weddings! Because people have less fear of commitment!

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