States consider divorce reform in attempt to preserve families
This article was very disappointing. Certainly legal questions should be
addressed; but it would be much better to focus on preventing the causes of
divorce instead of making it harder to absolve a dysfunctional, emotionally
damaging union. When the Mormon Church truly wants to do something
effective in preventing divorce, it will more directly and openly address the
causes. Where are the sermons on living the gospel in our homes? Where is the
marriage education and the pre-marriage counseling? The Church
places much more emphasis on forgiving miscreants (let's just call them
sinners)than on confronting them with their bad behaviors. Why encourage people
to remain in damaging marriages?
Wow, talk about social engineering and reliance on government. Change hearts
and minds, don't let the government get involved in matters and personal as
marriage and divorce.
It isn't going to matter if the divorce is no fault or not from the
standpoint of whether people get one or not. Those who need grounds and remain
friends will decide what hurts least. Those who don't remain friends
won't care. My kids' dad and I talked it over for a long time, and
then we sat down with the kids. We were grateful for no fault because of the
kids. The main thing was that they knew they still had a mom and dad, just in
two places. If you have kids, it isn't all about the adults, and no one
here seems to think that divorcing parents think that way--together. I happen to
think we aren't the only ones or in the minority. That was thirty-some
years ago, and we are still friends, with other lives since then. But no
animosity, and the now-grown kids could say they had two parents--always.
I've been divorced, and almost have become so again...we're currently
separated. In counseling, the counselor and I were discussing premarital
counseling, and how it was interesting that, in the LDS Church, with the
emphasis on eternal marriage, there was no discussion about counseling for
couples. What it led me to think was, if a couple has done all they feel they
could, and still want a divorce, fine. But when they need the financial,
emotional, and even religious counseling--even if they are of the same faith,
they may approach it differently--is before they say "I do", when they
still tell each other things, still are starry-eyed, still feel emotional. This
counseling will, maybe, take just enough shine off the romance to help them
understand that this isn't a fairy tale, but real life, and maybe
d-i-v-o-r-c-e will just be a country-western song.
The philosophy of no-fault divorce handicaps marriage from the beginning and
promises a finality to a marriage, if it doesn't work out, that never
really comes. The no-fault philosophy allows for a more casual marriage that
isn't treated seriously from the outset. Ending a marriage
should be a big deal; although, I am not convinced it should be part of a
government process. "Well, what is the alternative to a government
process?" Consider first self-government, then extended family and friends
that could help, churches should be involved, and charities.
"If the petitioner for a divorce wants out of the marriage then she/he
should only receive at maximum, 2-3 years of alimony. "That's basically what it is in Texas unless there's a disabled child
involved and our divorce rate is right in the national norm. I didn't
have to pay one cent to my ex-wife, her income was about 1/6th of mine. My son
lived with her a few months then decided her abandonment of certain values made
it untenable to stay there. He came to live with me, she never paid support
for his upkeep as dictated by laws here and we just moved on.The
thing that will reduce divorce, is people growing up and swallowing their ego
and getting rid of their own worst flaws; none of which can be legislated.
I pine for the days when government overreach of all forms was discouraged and
vilified. Today we champion laws that would restrict our individuality, tomorrow
we cry because our individuality is restricted. This is not about marriage,
divorce, morals or religious principals, this is about freedom to act in a
manner that would bring about our own individual and personal happiness.
If you unclude all the people that "shack up" and then separate the
failure rate per capita would probably be 300%
If one partner in a marriage cheats on his/her spouse, there is a high degree of
certainty that the cheating would continue if the cheating spouse were forced to
stay in the marriage.Who would want to continue to live with that
person, knowing that they were cheating?Marriage should be harder to
come by, then people might appreciate it; there are those of us who are not
permitted to marry and are seeking to do so, it seems to me that we might value
marriage more than those of you who can marry at the drop of a pin.
Governments don't preserve marriage - people do. By the time people are
getting a divorce, the damage is done. If you look at the bickering that
politicians do on a daily basis, its hard to see them as experts in conflict
"We need LESS government*"*with the exception of the
following: marriage, divorce, abortion, drinking, smoking, drugs, and any other
Why would anyone want to stay in a marriage where you are not wanted! What we
really need is the government to tell us who stays, who goes and when? Not a
chance! We already have as good a system as we're gonna get with no-fault
divorce. So after we have to get counseling to get married then the next step
after marriage is to get more counseling to have a baby, then more counseling on
how to be a parent and on and on. The more interference we get the worse its
going to be and somebody always suffers. No law is going to change that. Divorce
is a terrible way to go but we have to live with the decisions we make, even the
One thing I have learned is if someone doesn't want you, no divorce laws
are going to change that. I couldn't think of anything worse than someone
resenting the fact they couldn't get a divorce and were being forced to
stay with me. I personally would feel humiliated. I think that
young people should be taught that Marriage like anything else that is valuable,
should be handled with care, and treasured, and that like all contracts,it
is to be honored. I think a lot of marriages can be saved, because the
peopleinvolved are normal people that can be worked with, but there are
situations whereit's really sick, and divorce is appropriate in those
circumstances. With half ofour marriages ending in divorce, you have a lot
of childishness and selfishness going on, and people splitting the sheets for no
good reason, and the Children pay for it.
JoeBlow,I have thought about it and am living this very scenario you
list.Money is a HUGE motivating factor to get out of a marriage if
you are selfish and disrupt and destroy a marriage because it was too easy to
get out when the going got too tough.Easy, no-fault or
irreconcilable differences divorces are what is destroying the family unit more
than any other threat on the family. Selfishness causes those to seek an easy
way out and unlimited alimony or even alimony that has to be paid for a decade
or more causes many women (and some men) to take what they think is the easy
street of having their ex take care of them financially.
You can't just make laws about marriage and divorce. Too many people are
getting around it by never marrying at all, and that's just as damaging to
the children as divorce, if not more, because there is no permanent family unit.
Everything is transitory. The only true solutions would require people growing
some morals and taking their ability to procreate seriously. Unfortunately too
many people consider it their "right" to live whatever kind of life they
want, even if in the long run it's damaging to their offspring and costs
everyone else more money. You can't compel people to to the right thing,
no matter how much you wish you could. You could impose stiff penalties for
things like abuse or adultery or divorce, or even for extramarital sex, but
people would scream that their rights are being violated. They don't care
that in doing these things they're already violating someone else's
rights. The only solution requires education, and people are too PC these days
to be willing to make a stand for what is right.
I have been married twice. I will never recover financially due to a an
unethical attorney taking advantage of me. I have had three attorneys tell me
the divorce decree was most likely illegal and the judge should never had signed
it. Instead of owning my home free and clear I am now buried in debt and facing
a mortgage payment in my retirement. Divorce is a terrible ordeal. Many
describe it as worse than loosing a spouse. It was Ronald Reagan who signed
CA's no fault law. He has openly admitted it was a mistake. Reagan did
it because his ex charged him with emotional cruelty, wich he adamantly denied.
The problem was you had to have grounds and emotional cruelty became a catchall.
I agree divorce is to easy. In some cases necessary and unavoidable. still I
wouldn't wish it on anyone. Usually one partner comes out the winner,
custody etc while the other one is left devastated. Something to think about.
An UGLY marriage situation is more harmful to the children than an amicable
divorce but a bitter, ugly divorce is most damaging to the innocent children.Most divorces are caused by selfishness of one or both spouses who care
less about the welfare of their children than their own selfish desires.
My parents separated for the first time before I was ten. Over a period of 8
years they separated 4 times before finally getting divorced. They went to
marriage counseling - both religious and non-religious - and tried many
different things to make the marriage work. They did all this for the sake of
the children.There was one main problem that no amount of therapy or
desire to stay together for the children could change:they were not
interested in being married to each other.Wanting to provide a
stable home for the children was not enough to overcome their disinterest in
each other. And my siblings and I knew they did not love each other and did not
want to be married and that affected all us in very negative - although
different - ways. Our lives vastly improved when our parents finally divorced
and they were able to actually focus on a relationship with us kids and caring
for us instead of spending all their time worrying about what we would think of
their behavior and if we knew they were unhappy.Forcing people who
do not want to be married to stay married is not the solution.
There should be strict laws that are stringently enforced pertaining to the
financial and physical welfare of minor children in a divorce situation. Other
than that only the parties know whether divorce is right. All the studies in
the world can't evaluate the emotional and social needs of a specific
person, couple, or family, including the children..so butt out with all your
dime philosophies and advice. Give families the resources necessary to evaluate
their own situation properly..but stay out of it with your "I know what is
best for families".
I have read several very interesting proposals here. What it comes down to is
this - we are dealing with people. In fact, it is always to deal with one
person that two or more people; another reason for divorce - people not wanting
to deal with another person.Society has gone to great lengths to
remove the burden of responsibility from our lives and no amount of legislation
will solve that. If two people who once committed to marriage 'til death
do us part' and decide later they would rather die that stay married - no
amount of legislation will fix the problem and will probably only make it worse.
People; especially parents, have got to understand that more than their own
life hangs in the balance. Some research actually suggests that children do
better emotionally losing a parent to death than to divorce.I
suspect there is no one single cure for the ills of society. Until we reach a
point where people consistently spend more time considering the needs and well
being of someone other than themselves, there will always be wars, always be
poverty and will always be divorce.
The problem is marriage, not divorce. Marriage reform is what the states should
be looking at. Make getting married as difficult and finiacially punitive as
divorce currently is and I gurantee the divorce rate in this country drops
No-fault divorce has done more damage to the family than any other
non-traditional family initiative.
I have been through all of this. It was worse than a death in the family. Go to
divorce class and 30 days later your divorced. How about a class before marriage
and a signed contract between the couples. If you have kids and there is no
abuse 1 year before u can be divorced. See what happens is a woman with a couple
of kids get scared that they can't make it and get remarried to someone
else to quick. Not good for her or the kids.
"If the petitioner for a divorce wants out of the marriage then she/he
should only receive at maximum, 2-3 years of alimony. "OK
Thinkman. Think about it.2 peeps get married. Wife forgoes career
and starts having kids. Dad gets masters degree and good job with great
advancements. Family has 4 kids and mom is too busy to further her education or
get work experience.What do you think moms earning potential is when
they get divorced?Mom should only get 2-3 years of support?That seems fair to you?That may give mom the incentive to stay
married, but what about dad? And of course, I understand that the
roles could easily be reversed, but the premise holds.
With the gay marriage initiative, some have argued that government should get
out of marriage. Just make it a religious commitment. (Which is sometimes their
basis for supporting non-traditional marriage.)I believe the we need
a strong court system to support marriage as with any binding contract. For two
people to share everything and give everything to the marriage, they need the
confidence that if their partner breaks the contract they can sue for divorce
and for the things they shared including the children.
People marry too easily and divorce far too easily. Most regret both hasty
decisions. God can turn anything around, even your first hasty decision to marry
what you might think is the wrong person. Any two people can learn to love and
care for one another, mistakes and all.
Until the state limits alimony time and amounts, then and only then will divorce
rates fall.Women (and sometimes men) who feel they are entitled to
financial support from their ex, will seek divorce when the marriage isn't
going to their liking. If the petitioner for a divorce wants out of
the marriage then she/he should only receive at maximum, 2-3 years of alimony.
Institute this, then you will see divorce rates cut in half if not
Why would you want to preserve a marriage that is rotting from the inside? Just
like brown spots, squissy spots, etc. are signs of a fruit rotting from the
inside, adultrey, fights, etc. are often signs or symptoms, of a marriage
rotting from the inside. The base presumtion that all marriages and families
should be, or even can be held together is wrong and even dangerous to "the
children". All marriages and relationships have issues, and
issues can be, and are difficult to resolve, but not all issues are
"resolvable". A square peg just doesn't fit in a round hole
without changing it to a round peg..and now it's no longer useful as a
square peg. Only those in the realtionship know whether it can and
should be fixed. Laws protecting the financial viability of the children is a
whole different matter.
Divorce has such long lasting consequences that couples contemplating divorce do
notsee. Couples with children should be slowed down in the emotional march
to get out ofa tough marriage especially if there is no abuse and just
differences. Society, the coupleand the children all face lifetime
consequences. No fault divorce laws should be scrutinized perhaps some marriages
could succeed by a little different perspective and counseling.
There is no law that can fix the responsibility of parents/adult. If a person
thinks more of himself/herself than the goodness of the children or the spouse,
no government, church, counselor etc can fix such. A selfish potential
husband/father during dating will remain so during marriage -and don't
expect living together will fix that either... choose wisely.
The only really progressive ideas that help the poor, the weak, etc are policies
that actually help. Trying and failing because of incompetence or elitism or
political motives isn't progressive. It ends up being regressive to the
point that even the hard core conservatives won't even agree with them.
Criminal Justice research clearly shows a correlation between single parent
families and criminal conduct. The most consistent factor people in
America's prison have in common is being raised by a single parent. It is
more consistent than poverty, school drop rates, unemployment, etc. Only drug
abuse exceeds "single parent" in the factors correlated to criminal
conduct. Barbara DeVoe Whitehead wrote and extensive article regarding the
impact of single parent families on children in the Atlantic Monthly entitled
"Dan Quayle was right" in the April 1993 issue. If you want a
comprehensive view of this problem, read her work. If you want to prevent crime,
There is too much government in our private lives already, we do not need yet
another law to tell us how to live our private lives. Adults should be able too
handle their own affairs without "Big Brother" legislating yet more
intrusion into their lives.
Are these comments from the same "get the cotton-pickin government out of
our lives", calling for more laws and regulations?
I was abandoned over 30 years ago in a state with very strict divorce and
separation laws. My spouse was also of a religion that frowned heavily upon
divorce, and yet this spouse did not have any interest in staying with the
family. We have been the victims of this. Although my children are wonderful,
caring adults,they continue to suffer extreme emotional damage from a deadbeat
parent. You are assuming that lenient laws encourage divorce and will prevent
this from happening, but that is not true. Someone who wants to leave his/her
family will do it in spite of warnings and the consequences. This is a moral
dilemma, and not a legal one. No one can make a poor parent step up to be
nurturing and loving and responsible. Sure, laws can attempt to force financial
support, but someone can also get around that. It is appalling, but these
callous, narcissistic people do exist. They can hide their true selves during
the courtship phase. For those who have suffered, the only course is to learn to
cope and move on. That is easier said than done for the children. Yes,
selfishness is the cause.
So much for keeping the government out of people's private lives...
Shocking…it all started in California!
I still think adultery should be a criminal offense for both parties. People who
are unfaithful to their spouse not only damage their relationship with their
spouse and significantly increase the possibility of divorce, they also place
the innocent party at risk of being exposed to an STD. Passing an STD on to
someone else should also be a serious criminal offense.
I'd like to see a financial planner required to assist any family going
through divorce to maintain financial solvency and keep the family assets for
the benefit of the children. Once money is taken out of the equation, there will
be less conflict, fewer attorneys interested in helping decay families. The
court system needs to be accountable to state laws and statutes. Mental health
courts are sorely needed in the event of non-compliance of parties in high
conflict divorce. I'd say 80% of divorces are related to mental health
issues that have gone undiagnosed and untreated.
If a state doesn't require couples to have a waiting period and counseling
before they get married then the couple should also be able to get divorce
without a waiting period or counseling.