As children we are taught to be accountable for our actions and take responsibility for our choices... even as adults we carry this attitude into every aspect of our lives - until we get divorced, and someone somewhere has decided that we are no longer responsible or accountable and that actually the fact that Mr B had an affair with Miss C causing severe emotional trauma, loss & pain to Mrs B and the children, isnt actually his fault, or Miss C's for that matter.
We've moved into the land of No Fault, and reside in a town called "keep it amicable", twinned with "Dont be bitter".
It's a crazy place where for example, Mrs B could take a pair of flip flops from Miss C's shop without paying and be arrested, prosecuted and have a terrible time - because quite rightly, she did something wrong & dishonest. It was her fault, and therefore she should be punished and taught a lesson. Miss C has all the right in the world to be angry at Mrs B, and would be encouraged to prosecute.
However, Miss C can come into Mrs B's family, have an affair with her husband and in the process humiliate her, destroy everything she has worked for & sacrificed for 20yrs. She can cause great emotional pain and anguish to the children of Mr & Mrs B, be the reason that said children and Mrs B lose their home as well as the man who was such an integral part of it.... and walk away scot free...
Mr B, he too - can lie, cheat, deceive and do all manner of despicable things in the selfish pursuit of his own pleasure - to those he reportedly loved more than anything else in the world, and he too walks away without punishment.
Meanwhile Mrs B... well she's told that she mustnt become bitter, that she must try and keep this amicable. She is encouraged not to name Miss C, and that she'll just have to accept that the thousands of pounds she has paid for a divorce caused by Mr B & Miss C is just a price she has to pay to get her life back - a life that is having to be started all over again scraping by at 40 with no pension, no career, a low salary and raising two children alone.
Mr B & Miss C carry out the emotional equivalent of GBH, a crime that because it's tangible, leaves bruises, causes severe physical injuries - carries a prison sentence. It simply isnt acceptable that one person can physically harm another. But they can do what the hell they like to them emotionally & mentally and get away with it. Anti-depressants, suicidal thoughts, constant crying? Phah! Get over it. They had an affair - they didnt physically stick a knife in after all.
Well, Im sorry - but it'd be a bloody darn sight easier to not be bitter if these dreadful people were made accountable for their actions. If they had to pay for the cost of a divorce they caused for a start. I'm quite sure that anyone who has been wronged would agree - healing would be aided immensely by some sort of fair justice.
I know what you mean ! I believe that, in a recent poll, 90% of respondents said that conduct SHOULD be taken into account. It's quite a common exam question for law students when conduct can be considered, but the Courts have set the bar so high that it is almost impossible to get over it.
However, may I perhaps put another point of view, being old enough to recall what happened when conduct really was a factor. Every detail was picked over like vultures picking over a carcase, and you had both parties petitioning and cross-petitioning on the grounds of the other's ' cruelty ' ( it was cruelty then ) when it was absolutely clear that the marriage was dead as the dodo and the REAL issue was ancillary relief. Heck, that costs enough as it is without adding conduct into the equation.
Another problem is where a husband, say, commits adultery - perhaps visits a prostitute. Clear enough, you may think - he has committed adultery and ought to pay for it - but wait a minute, what if the wife was a cantankerous **** who gave him s*x about once or twice a year if he was lucky ? So who's at fault ? The husband for giving way his instincts or the wife who drove him to it ?
I fear the House of Lords stamped on conduct so strongly in the Miller case that the issue is , for better or worse, dead in the water for the time being. But this is all part of a picture in which the House of Lords are increasingly out of step with public opinion. I am old fashioned enough to think there is a world of difference between a couple who divorce after 30 years and one who divorce after 3. After a very short marriage I think the objective should, as far as possible, be to restore the parties to their pre-marital position.
must say i agree with what you have to say as my wife left me to live another bloke and i then found out she had been putting it about all over the place, but got in first with the divorce petition as my sol was pussy footing around say i had no proof of adultry even though she was living with the bloke, introducing him as her boy friend and been all over him like a rash in public.
When you marry your suppossed to enter a contract of marriage and one of the items of that contract is to forsake all others, so surly she broke the contract and is at fault so she should forfit any financial aspects of the marriage as punishment for breech of contract, but i'm told no i must be the one to pay her even though she has broke the marriage contract and abandoned our son, who is living with me and she only contacts when shes bored and fed up with nothing better to do.
I think the no blame divorces are wrong. I thought that no blame was supposed to speed things up? We seem to be doing a lot of cross pettioning anyway. Its a right old muddle to a lay person.
I dont think courts are the right place to do it either. They are far to stuffy places ruled by people who dont seem to be in the same world as us. Sorry legal types. I know I am going to get flamed.
I would have thought it would be better sorted out by mediators. Avoid having to go to court at all. Its the wrong kind of environment. I always feel like a criminal and I got spoken to like one last time. Even though I had done nothing wrong and someone with half a brain could tell my ex was full of sh1t.
THere is also the view that men get shafted in court. Women are supposed to get an easy ride. And from what I have seen that is the case.
Mmmmm interesting points of view, and I do understand why blame is left out of it - truly I do, but personally, to feel vindicated in some way shape or form would give me 'closure', help heal the wounds & deal with the god awful bitter feelings that rear their ugly head every once in a far-too-frequent-for-my-liking while.
I also feel that if conduct did matter, and people were made accountable, that it would certainly deter a lot of affairs and maybe marriages would be worked at, or at least end with some degree of honesty & respect, without all the extra emotional trauma of dealing with betrayal, deceit, dishonesty and misplaced trust.