Getting Divorced Online: Procedural and Outcome Justice in Online Divorce Mediation
Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems (TISCO); Tilburg University - Private Law Department and Faculty of Law; Tilburg Law School
Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (TILT); Tilburg University - Private Law Department
February 1, 2011
Tilburg University TISCO Working Paper
In this paper we discuss a study of the experiences of 126 individuals who participated in online divorce mediation in The Netherlands. Divorce is a dispute in which the parties have to distribute a large pool of assets and responsibilities. The distributive dimension of divorce substantiates the expectation that one of the parties may be more content with the outcome than the other. The results of the study show that the divorcees do not differ substantially in how they perceive the quality of the procedure and the quality of the outcome. Both parties assigned relatively high scores to both the procedure and the outcome. This finding suggests that the online mediation process and its outcome are perceived as equally fair by both parties. However, there is a noticeable distinction within the couples in the reported costs of the procedure. Men tend to report higher monetary and time costs, whereas women are more concerned with the intangible costs of the online mediation – negative emotions and damage to important relationships. Overall, our findings suggest that online divorce mediation is a viable alternative to both offline mediation and other more traditional modes of dispute resolution in divorce.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Online Dispute Resolution, Procedural Justice, Costs of Justice, Distributive Justice
JEL Classification: K4, K1, D63, D74,working papers series
Date posted: February 2, 2011
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