While we might not all agree on any proposed change, the opportunity to debate and discuss is is very important, and should be encouraged.
Tim, you are right that marriage is under threat, however, I believe that more support is required for those facing marital difficulties rather than changing the current divorce legislation. I wrote a blog some time ago about no-fault divorce, following comments made by Lord Justice Wall, and came to conclusion that there could never really be a true no-fault divorce.
During the 1960’s saw calls to reform the existing divorce laws on the basis of “no-fault” divorce gather momentum, and some quite considerable momentum at that. The 1967 Law Commission report entitled “Reform of the Grounds of Divorce: The Field of Choice” and authored by Sir Leslie Scarman stated the objects of a good divorce law were:
“(1) to buttress, rather than undermine, the stability of marriage; and
(2) where, regrettably, a marriage has irretrievably broken down, to enable the empty legal shell to be destroyed with the maximum fairness, and the minimum bitterness, distress and humiliation.”
Your proposal Tim would ensure the minimum fairness and the maximum bitterness, distress and humiliation.
However, I would suggest Point 1 from the report has failed spectacularly. As regards Point 2 and having spoken to others and been exposed to the process myself, I cannot imagine a more unfair, or humiliating system than the one that exists now.
I can''t see how tinkering with the system will change anything.
I would suggest we need to.
1. Define what marriage is - I would argue a lifelong commitment that can only be broken in specified situations eg violence/adultery
2. Leaving a marriage for other reasons is fine but you forfeit your rights to be a resident parent and to the assets accrued in the marriage
2. Before a marriage is entered into, couples are obliged to formally acknowledge that they fully and completely understand the full extent of their commitment and MOREOVER THE CONSEQUENCES of breaking that commitment.
This I am sure would not only buttress the stability of marriage but also obviate much of the terrible distress so many couples currently suffer.
The problem with that suggestion (which is really a desire for revenge) is the possibility of them having to become a dependent of the state until such time as they get back on their feet. Though this may not be the case with your ex but no government wants to run the risk of that happening with every other divorce. And as much as a side of me would like to see my sister’s husband in that position, it would gall me to consider so much as one penny of my hard earned tax paid being spent on supporting him in the meantime.
“...if you do you should forfeit your right to have the children and the assets accrued during the marriage...” But, in doing that, aren’t you forcing your children to forfeit their right to be with their parent--whom they still love? My daughter came home from school telling me about people from Childline who came in to talk and she told me that she has a right to be happy and safe, and she’s right! She said she knows her rights and so she demanded her proper good night kiss and not the quick goodnight I gave her (because I was in a hurry doing something else--for her:cheer: ).
Yes, children are able to adapt but why punish the child for the wrong your ex inflicted on you? And the child is still left with the fear of losing the other parent they are left with as a result. It stays there in the back of their mind (and I only know this from one child who is a friend of my daughters’) and no matter how we reassure them, it stays, until they are old enough to rationalise. So why would you want to leave them, in their childhood, with that fear in the back of their mind, the insecurity of it? And it’s something that could backfire on you in later life.
You are their parent and you want your children to be happy and safe, so, your ex needs to be able to provide that safe and happy environment for them to come and stay in when they are with your ex. And yes, both parents should continue to financially support their children. But don’t punish them for a crime they didn’t commit.
No, I''d rather they were left with just enough if not 50/50, certainly where there are no children involved. Because at the end of the day, no matter how many irrational thoughts and emotions take over my mind when my sister is in the depths of despair, my humanity for man-kind will still kick in and I know I''d have to live with the remorse for wishing the worst upon his head (or if anything should happen to him if he were to be left homeless/destitute as a result). That’s not to say they shouldn’t be punished for their blatant disregard of the legal system and divorce procedure; for flouting the rules and regulations laid out (supposedly to protect).
Yes, I''ve come to realise there are so many archaic laws and procedures about divorce, it reminds me of ''The House That Jack Built'' and definitely needs a clean sweep, because we have inherited a legal system that has evolved over centuries to serve men and their property. The concept of women as independent beings with legal rights is a relatively recent afterthought.
They say there are rules and regulations in place so my sister’s stbx can’t do this and can’t do that but there aren’t any hard and fast rules set in stone to stop him from doing whatever he likes. And he can do that because there is no penalty to be paid, he has no fear of the legal system to abide by. I think every one of those rules have been broken at some time or other over the past 2 years of my sisters’ divorce and no action has been taken against him or his solicitor for what they have put my sister through let alone the financial drain he has put on her and the hold he has over her life at present and her future.
It''s absolutely not about revenge. It''s about resetting the rules of engagement for marriage - which as an institution is thoroughly broken.
At the moment children get absolutely trampled on as parents waltz in and out of marriages. I want this to stop and for marriage to be what it was intended to be, a lifelong commitment. Parents staying together is what is best for children.
What I am suggesting is very simple. Here are the rules by which a marriage is conducted. If you break those rules you pay a heavy penalty. If you don''t like them don''t get married.