“Robert K. Merton (pictured on the right) was responsible for ….. the now famous Law of Unanticipated Consequences (which is more popularly known as the Law of Unintended Consequences). Much of Merton’s analytic work focused on both consequences of action that were not anticipated by the actor…. Merton …. systematically analyzed and classified types and determinants of unanticipated consequences of purposive action. There are positive unanticipated benefits, which we have seen repeatedly as part of serendipity, or serendipitous discoveries in science; there’s Murphy’s Law type unanticipated consequences: “What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong”; and there are perverse effects that result in the opposite of what was intended. Merton identified five principle causes of unanticipated consequences: ignorance; error; immediate interest which neglects consideration of longer term, and potentially, negative consequences, basic values that may enjoin us not to act in certain ways, despite the likelihood of the actions producing unanticipated, negative consequences; and self-defeating prophecy, in which people do not take action because they fear negative and unanticipated consequences” http://university-discoveries.com/the-law-of-unintended-consequences
There are always possible unintended consequences in divorce and as mediators we try to avoid them. These are some examples. Couples usually expect the value of their home to increase but it goes down. The value goes down. A person thinks he has a job that will last forever or a new business that will take off and request that alimony not be modifiable. He loses the job and the business is not successful. A woman plans to get married so she does not ask for alimony and she does not get remarried.
Learn more about mediation at http://www.center-divorce-mediation.com CDM (329) 5/1/17