Divorce Question

May 20th, 2010

Over at Dante Atkins’ Daily Kos post, some commenters have said that no-fault divorce is necessary; without it, women would be stuck in abusive marriages, unable to prove fault.  Everyone admits that there are some reasons why a woman (or man) might need to leave a marriage.  These include situations like:

  • spousal abuse
  • child abuse
  • substance abuse
  • addictive behaviors (addiction to gambling, pornography, spending, etc.)
  • infidelity

But what I am wondering is this—how many divorces are the result of these situations?  And how many divorces are sought for much less threatening reasons?  Reasons such as these: 

  • I met someone younger/richer/prettier.
  • It’s just too much work.
  • We don’t get along any more.
  • I don’t want to deal with an ill spouse or child.
  • The excitement is gone.
  • I need to find myself.
  • I’m bored.
  • I’m not “in love” any more.

No-fault divorce allows one spouse to dump the other for even trivial reasons.  There must be some way the legal system could make divorce obtainable for spouses in potentially dangerous situations, without making it easy to walk out when life gets a little tough.

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  1. Marty
    May 20th, 2010 at 13:37 | #1

    Good points. As for me, when grown adults pledge “til death do us part” before God and Man, society has every reason to expect them to keep their word — and should hold them to it.

    Gay marriage advocates have got one thing right: people who get married on a silly whim — and divorce on a silly whim, have done more then anyone else to legitimize the silly whim of same-sex marriage.

  2. May 20th, 2010 at 18:21 | #2

    These extreme cases sound like they’re just recycled from the 1970s. How hard can “fault” be to prove in these days when increasingly every cell phone has a video camera?

    On the stats, no wondering is necessary: most divorces aren’t arising from abusive situations.

    There’s the continuing issue of whether laws should be written for the general case, or for the worst-case scenario. The smart way is to make a general rule for most people, then add exceptions afterward. We’ve let the exceptions dictate the general rule.

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