Friday, May 14, 2010

No fault divorce is anything but

No fault divorce is suppossed to mean "it's no one's fault, it's just over." Or at least, that was how it was sold.

But that's not what it is. It just means "one spouse can unilaterally end the marriage."

It also encourages each spouse to accuse each other of nasty things, in order to try to get the best "deal" re: child support, etc. I've honestly avoided dragging out our metaphorical dirty laundry, but my ex dragged out every argument we ever had, everything I ever did she didn't approve of, and then accused me of mental cruelty and the like. It's terrible, because while I was never perfect, I never, never was as bad as she painted me in court. But every argument we had suddenly became me yelling at her to shut up and do it my way, wench. I can protest this is not true, and that she was more (or at least as) likely to yell as I was, but they were disagreements, not fights. But since she wants me to pay her more money than I earn, and she wants to keep the children all to herself, it was to her advantage to try and "prove" that I was a terrible, terrible man.

I'm lucky in that she had no proof, but since it's a no fault divorce, she "wins the war" no matter how many little battles I may win. The other problem is that the courts tend to take the wife's word for it, since apparently the default position is that all men are potential abusers. This seems to be the default position in the discussions online as well.

So, no fault divorce doesn't mean "it's no one's fault, it's just over" - it means "one spouse can accuse the other of abuse, and even with no proof and no abuse, it gets taken as reality anyway."

Or something. The feminists, for the most part, won't believe me, and smugly smirk to themselves that "finally, another woman removing herself from the dominant patriarchal hegemony of the church culture" or something equally vapid but smart sounding.

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