Five Myths about No-Fault Divorce

Almost four decades after the “no-fault” divorce revolution began in California, misconceptions abound. Even the many books about divorce, including myriad self-help manuals, are full of inaccurate and misleading information. No public debate preceded the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the 1970s, and no debate has taken place since.
Yet divorce-on-demand is exacting a devastating toll on our children, our social order, our economy, and even our constitutional rights. A recent study estimates the financial cost of divorce to taxpayers at $112 billion annually. Recent demands to legitimize same-sex marriage almost certainly follow from the divorce revolution, since gay activists readily acknowledge that they only desire to marry under the loosened terms that have resulted from the new divorce laws. Divorce also contributes to a dangerous increase in the power of the state over private life.
Here are some of the most common clichés and misconceptions about modern divorce, along with the facts.
Myth 1: No-fault divorce permitted divorce by mutual consent, thus making divorce less acrimonious.
Fact: No-fault divorce is unilateral divorce. It permits divorce by one spouse acting alone for any reason or no reason. No “grounds” are required, and the involuntarily divorced spouse need commit no legal infraction, either criminal or civil. It is therefore forced divorce, meaning you can be divorced over your objections. (Some 80 percent of divorces today are unilateral.)
Even more serious, you can be forcibly separated from your children, your home, and your property, also through literally “no fault” of your own. Failure to cooperate with the divorce opens the innocent spouse to criminal penalties. No-fault divorce made divorce far more destructive by allowing the state to undertake court proceedings against innocent people, confiscate everything they have, and incarcerate them without trial.
Myth 2: We cannot force people to remain married and should not try.
Fact: It is not a matter of forcing anyone to remain married. The issue is taking responsibility for one’s actions in abrogating an agreement. With no-fault divorce, the spouse who divorces without grounds or otherwise breaks the marriage agreement (for example, by adultery or desertion) thereby incurs no onus of responsibility. Indeed, that spouse gains advantages.
Courts therefore do not dispense justice against a legal wrong. Instead, every divorce is granted automatically, and the courts simply divvy up the goods — including the children — according to any criteria they choose, including separating the innocent spouse from his or her children without having to give any reason. Because the divorce creates work and earnings for judges, lawyers, and other court personnel, there is a strong incentive for these officials to reward the guilty spouse in order to encourage more divorces and more business for the courts. As Charles Dickens pointed out, “The one great principle of the . . . law is to make business for itself.”
Myth 3: No-fault divorce has led men to abandon their wives and children.
Fact: This does happen (wives more often than children), but it is greatly exaggerated. The vast majority of no-fault divorces — especially those involving children — are filed by wives. In fact, as Judy Parejko, author of Stolen Vows, has shown, the no-fault revolution was engineered largely by feminist lawyers, with the cooperation of the bar associations, as part of the sexual revolution. Overwhelmingly, it has served to separate large numbers of children from their fathers. Sometimes the genders are reversed, so that fathers take children from mothers. But either way, the main effect of no-fault is to make children weapons and pawns to gain power through the courts, not the “abandonment” of them by either parent.
Myth 4: When couples cannot agree or cooperate about matters like how the children should be raised, a judge must decide according to “the best interest of the child.”
Fact: It is not the business of government officials to supervise the raising of other people’s children. The entire point of a marriage and family is for mothers and fathers to cooperate and compromise for the sake of children and provide an example to those children of precisely these principles, without which no family can operate. Allowing one parent to surrender both parents’ decision-making rights over the children to government officials because of “disagreement” — without any infraction by the other (who may “disagree” only about losing his or her children) — negates the very principle of private family life and invites collusion between the divorcing parent and state officials.
Judges and civil servants are not disinterested. When we give government officials the power to make decisions about the best interest of other people’s children, it may well become the best interest of the officials. Allowing them to control the private lives of citizens’ who have committed no legal infraction simply by invoking “disagreement” gives them an incentive to reward the parent that is being the most disagreeable. That is precisely the reason for the runaway divorce epidemic.
Myth 5: Divorce must be made easy because of domestic violence.
Fact: Actual physical violence is legitimate grounds for divorce and always has been. So it does not justify dispensing with all standards of justice, which is what no-fault entails. On the contrary, openly false accusations of domestic violence and child abuse have become an industry in themselves, mostly to secure child custody. By dispensing with standards of justice for divorce, we have allowed them to be abandoned for criminal justice too. Thus “domestic violence” and “child abuse” are not adjudicated as criminal assault, and the accused seldom receives a trial or chance to clear his name. Instead he simply loses his children until he can prove his innocence, an impossible standard.
Most domestic violence and child abuse take place during and after family dissolution; very little occurs in intact families. So domestic violence is a red herring. Federal funds for domestic violence and child abuse now serve effectively as a subsidy on divorce in every state in America, encouraging spouses to bring false accusations and law-enforcement officials to reward them. This shatters another myth: that family law is the province of states.
No-fault divorce has exacerbated the divorce epidemic on almost every count. We urgently need an extensive public debate on divorce and the connected issues of child custody, domestic violence, child abuse, and child support — precisely the debate that the divorce industry has suppressed for four decades.

Stephen Baskerville

By

Stephen Baskerville is Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College and past president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. He is a Fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and his second book, Taken Into Custody: The War against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family, was published by Cumberland House Publishing in 2007.

  • Ann

    The whole idea that abuse was always grounds for a divorce is great in theory but in practice it falls flat–the issue is that most abused women HIDE the abuse for years, and some so successfully that nobody, not even family, knows about it.

    So it becomes impossible to prove.

    Given that abusers have been setting up the psychological conditions that prevent the woman from speaking out, and the escalating punishments for even slight infractions of the “keeping the perfect image” tend to lead women who are abused to remain silent and afraid.

    NO fault divorce allows these women to break free more quickly which decreases the numbers of abused women who return to their abusers.

    Rather than change the divorce laws, it would be better if the culture spent more time talking about how to recognize a mature man of balanced temperament, or a mature woman of balanced temperament–skip the over-emphasis on sexual attraction and emotions–and discuss the issues of parenting style and common ground, and the warning signs of someone who looks good but is going to abuse later.

    Warning signs are there, but they are VERY difficult for anyone to see, male or female, if the evaluation is not done until after sex is put into the relationship–hormones make an objective decision very nearly impossible–and this is just not something anyone seems to want to tell young people.

    So young people go into marriage without ANY training on how to choose a spouse who is worthy of the effort of making a marriage work, colossal mistakes are made, and it is not the fault of no fault divorce that these people made very poor choices in the beginning.

    Get real and fix it up front–better preparation and better choice of spouse will solve the problem better than making laws that draw out the divorce which put abused women in very dangerous situations.

  • Al

    Another poster claimed that unilateral divorce is necessary because women hide their abuse for years. The facts do not support this contention, and it is simply another aspect of the mythology of radical misandric feminism.

    However, there is a spouse that hides the abuse for years and years, and rarely reports it. This spouse is the husband. Domestic violence, which is just a PC re-naming of battery, is an equal opportunity crime. The marriage partner most likely to hide the abuse is the male — the husband. The stigma against reports by the man are huge. While national statistics of reported domestic violence indicate about equal incidents, the fact that men resist reporting strongly suggest that the majority of domestic violence crimes are committee AGAINST men, not by them.

  • Mark Ruffolo

    The elephant in America’s living room is that she is one of the world leaders in divorce. There are about 200 countries in the world.

    Though America has only 5% of the world’s population, she holds about 25% of prisoners – that about 95% are American men. Message: America hates its men.

    America claims family-focus, yet women abort children about 3 million yearly children, divorce husbands, sexualize woman as whores, men as homo, dishonor fathers, and covet (materialism).

    Yet America has plenty of rules, however, they are not God’s rules. She is more concern about obeying Government rules (parking, speeding, business regulation) than obeying God’s rule. God even has fewer rules than the Government.

  • JHamilton

    It is unfortunate that this writer is confusing issues.

    That a person is assumed guilty in divorce actions when a spouse claims it is a separate issue than the right to divorce within a no fault legal action.

    What should be fixed in the family court system is the idea that the first person who claims a spouse is abusive is believed without proof of the abuse.

    We should return to the constitutional concept that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

    No fault divorce should remain. No human being can and should be forced to stay in a marriage when that marriage has failed.

    Marriage is a separate entity in and of itself from “family”…

  • Jim Untershine

    The Divorce industry, the Child Support Enforcement industry, the Foster Care industry, and the Domestic Violence industry all contribute to drive our country into debt by actively attacking our families.

    The National Organization for Women (NOW) in California issued the “Family Court Report” in 2002, which labeled the Family Court as “Corrupt” in California and provided many examples of successful mothers who were stripped of their children in divorce. Gloria Steinem seemed to agree with the NOW perspective, when she stated in a 2005 letter regarding women and child custody: “The earning power of a parent is too often held to be more important than that person

  • David R Usher

    The feminist myth mentioned by Ann that child or spousal abuse in marriage gives rise to the need for easy instant divorce is a red herring, and a dangerous one.

    The lowest rates of child abuse, spouse abuse, and poverty are found in the intact marriage consisting of a mother and father.

    The highest rates of child and spousal abuse occur after the date of separation. Depending on the qualitative study cited, up to 96% of domestic violence occurs in the non-intact family. Depending on the study cited, between 50% and 70.7% of all DV is initiated by women.

    Children of single parents are 90% more likely to sustain moderate injury or harm than children in married families, 120% more likely to experience some type of child abuse or neglect, and 220% more likely to be educationally neglected.

    I have an article covering these issues that should be published in WorldNetDaily in the next day or so. In the meantime, those who wish to truly understand this issue should see the latest RADAR alert at http://www.mediaradar.org/alert20080602.php. Our latest alert releases a major report on the ABA covering this issue in tremendous detail.

  • David W.

    You’re wrong about marriage and family being divorced…they are intertwined. It is only in this morally bankrupt age that the tragedy of single parents and divorced families has been seen as a “norm”, rather than what it is: A sad and unfortunate circumstance, certainly not to be seen as an ideal.

    Civil divorce should only be allowed for the two As: Abuse and Abandonment.

    You’re having an issue with your spouse? Here is a thought: WORK IT OUT. No Fault Divorce is a way for people to throw up their hands and get an easy out. Perhaps if the idea that it is for life was Actually enforced, the number of frivilous marriages would go down.

  • Manning

    The mistake this writer makes is using the term unilateral as though this is a wrong basis for divorcing.

    The decision to divorce is most often made by one of the parties involved. It can be based on both agreeing, but very often it is when one person finds the cost of living with the other too high (I’m not talking about mere financial costs).

    The problems this writer speaks about in the divorce process when there are children is another matter entirely (than the relationship between the husband and wife).

    At this point, he is correct that it is never just (right) to simply accept accusations about one of the spouse merely because the charges are being made about the other spouse without proof.

    What should be fixed in the system is this unjust acceptance of abuse charges without proof.

    The idea that forcing people to stay together will somehow fix failed marriages is fallacy.

    It didn’t work in the Victorian age and it won’t work now.

  • childofsparta

    Its a pity the commentators who cite domestic violence as a reason for no fault divorce have not looked at the current legislation and laws directed at men to remove from their homes, have restrictions placed upon their movement without a need for burden of poof, i.e. one phone call. The large amount of money forwarded to agencies to help women secure these outcomes with or without fault or no fault divorce.

    As for “No human being can and should be forced to stay in a marriage when that marriage has failed”. We are now at a stage where mere boredom alone equals failure, their is no reason to work together.

    Then we are subjected to a well-rehearsed domestic violence industry, which goes into overdrive with anecdotal evidence and heartfelt stories of violent men in every other house controlling women through marriage. Were as all the evidence and research work points to the fact that marriage is the most secure and safe environment except for a minority of cases.

    Much like a consumer society even partners are now truly goods to be traded in. In an attempt to remove the states intervention with No fault divorce it has only increased the burden of the state to pick up the pieces and intrude into the lives of the people it is meant to represent.

    As citizens no fault divorce has only further removed our responsibilities for our society and ourselves.

  • Ron Grignol

    Ann is wrong divorce is always bad and is a real tragedy when minor children are involved. In a small number of cases divorce can be the least bad option.

    Ann’s idea of counseling and finding a mature person up front is a nice theory but for most people marriage will lead to increased maturity. No fault divorce laws allow people an easy out without having to face the consequences of their actions. Too often the person most at fault is most rewarded in the divorce settlement. This of course encourages immaturity, irresponsibility and divorce.

    Finally census studies show that the safest living arrangement for spouses and children is marriage. In marriage Domestic Violence (DV) rates are less than 3 per thousand married people U.S. Census Study). Proponents of current marriage laws always use DV as crisis to keep the status quo, but although DV is a tragedy in a very small number of marriages it is not an out of control crisis.

  • James D. Carmine

    Printing Baskerville’s article demonstrates that finally the RC Church in America is, ever so slightly, recognizing its duty to support heterosexual marriage rather than merely spending our vast resources on the red herring of Gay marriage. As Baskerville accurately recognizes, Gay marriage is itself a consequence of the destructiveness of no-fault divorce. So long as marriage is no more than a legal contract giving the state heretofore unfathomable abilities to intrude into the private lives of our families, why not simply redefine marriage as a contract between any and all people. The cowardice of the Church over the past forty years to face squarely the malignant feminist ideology of no-fault divorce has been reprehensible. The RC Church in America has reduced the Majesty of Catholicism to a cult of Social Workers and Psychotherapists. Western Civilization depends on Catholicism, but American style social-worker Catholicism, by tacitly embracing the ideology of divorce and the demise of the family has betrayed the very Catholic intellectual and social heritage that bore our Civilization. Subsidiarity begins with infinite respect for the family as irreducible unit–The Mother, the Father and the Children–over the state. But, Social Worker Psychotherapy Catholicism puts the fantasy of a beneficent state ahead of the family as irreducible unit. The family is not Caesar’s.

  • Francis Wippel

    So what can the Catholic Church do to help reduce divorce among its members? While the church has programs to help engaged couples prepare for marriage, are these programs enough? It

  • Ann

    I am totally anti-feminism as it is bandied about in this day, and I am not against the no fault divorce.

    The biggest problem is the lack of guts on the part of ANYONE when it comes to marriage preparation.

    Marriage preparation MUST include waiting on sex and evaluating people with a clear head BEFORE permitting a relationship to develop.

    As long as youngsters who still meet the good guy and declare him boring, favoring instead the immature, sometimes abusive, and irresponsible options (Who never ever see themselves for what they ARE), and as long as they are encouraged to seek out “attraction” “passion” “love”….. instead of building a healthy friendship with the hope of falling in love but beginning always with a mature and responsible person and developing a true friendship.

    Priests fear that they will leave the church–well, it would be best if they are going about it in a way that nearly guarantees future failure.

    It is not easy divorce that is the problem it is a culture in which no commitment sex, frequent changes in partners, and other behaviors devoid of mature and realistic commitment that lead to the break-up of marriages.

    Fix the foundations and the marriages will be able to last.

    Until the problems PRE-marriage are corrected, I will stand by the no fault divorce as a lesser evil.

  • Mark Young

    “No-Fault” Is Not The Problem, But Slavery – We Need a Federal Office of Parental Rights Enforcement (OPRE)

    The best and only constitutional way to promote family bonds is with enforcement of the right to be a parent. When parents know they will no longer be rewarded by leaving a family or marriage condition, they’ll try harder to make it work together as a family.

    As a Christian I believe in marriage. It is obedience to Christ’s teachings that has held my current marriage together when I might have otherwise selfishly abandoned it. My first wife abandoned our then new family partly from lack of such belief, and primarily because she knew she could exploit a gender biased court system. But marriage is irrelevant to the business of family courts. The primary concern of family courts should be enforcement of the constitutional right to be a parent to one’s children, regardless of the marital status of parents.

    The fact that fault divorce existed for a long time prior to its abandonment does not necessarily mean it was a good thing, even if there was a lower divorce rate. Fault divorce was an illegitimate legal animal per the U.S. Constitution because marriage is a religious matter with which government should not be concerned. Enforcement of a marriage contract is like enforcement of a communion ceremony. It’s absurd under a secular legal system.

    Government does have a legitimate interest in strengthening family bonds (of married or unmarried families) to make sure kids are provided care, but it has no business governing a religious institution – marriage – in a country based on separation of church and state. Yet now even homosexuals think “civil unions” mean progress. I would not wish government interference on anyone’s personal relations. There’s got to be a better way to get whatever rights they seek.

    For complete article: http://www.exiledfathers.org/no_fault_is_not_the_problem.rtf

  • Mark Young

    Perhaps no fault arose out of an increasing awareness of the unconstitutionality of fault divorce, and was inevitable. We should not presume that return to fault divorce now would lower the divorce rate. We can’t, or at least should not attempt, to turn back the hands of time.

    The nature of the law is to evolve. Slavery died due to evolution of the law. The divorce industry should die, likewise, through clarification and enforcement of the constitutional principle of equality, of the sexes.

    Unequal custody existed even before “no-fault”, with the guilty party perhaps losing custody. Now, typically custody is “awarded” based on who wears a dress, or who has deep pockets to be plundered, or whether one can afford to purchase it. Except for a parent who is convicted of some crime and therefore found unfit, all parents and children deserve a level playing field with equal rights to maintain good relationships.

    Under the old fault system, married partners stayed together for fear of the social stigma of divorce. Now, that fear of shame has been replaced with a reward system, where women file for divorce in the vast majority of cases, prompted by an attorney’s promise to share the loot after some outlaw judge has raped the father of his right to parent, plundered him of his assets, and enslaved him with an extortion order (falsely called “child support”).

    What we now call “no-fault” is not truly no fault. If neither parent is at fault, neither parent should win or lose. If it is “no-fault” divorce, why are lawyers getting 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars per case to prove parents are at fault? In my own divorce, I was most certainly, but wrongly and slanderously “found” to be at fault by the court and “sentenced”, in civil court, to loss of fatherhood and to pay extortion (child support), despite the fact that a false assault charge had been dismissed in criminal court.

    We have a system that pretends children’s best interests are important, but obviously that is a sham and Orwellian double speak. Regardless of any alleged fault, usually neither parent deserves unequal custody, nor does any child deserve to be unfairly separated from either fit parent. The solution, therefore, is not to reinstate fault divorce, but to remove the incentives which prompt parents to leave the family. Remove incentives which exploit the selfish human desire to gain control of the children and family assets. Remove federal policy statutes which promote sole custody for mothers and state statutes that allow judges to issue unequal custody orders against fit parents.

    For complete article: http://www.exiledfathers.org/no_fault_is_not_the_problem.rtf

  • Mark Young

    Families will be more likely to stay together once treasonous family court judges are forced to stop trampling on the constitutional rights of parents and are subject to the requirements of the U.S. Constitution: once fundamental law is established in these outlaw kangaroo courts.

    The law evolves. No fault divorce is not the problem causing family breakdowns and the high divorce rate, but rather lack of enforcement of the principles of the U.S. Constitution, just as lack of enforcement of the principle of equality laid down in the Declaration of Independence was the problem for African-Americans. It took centuries for their rights to be recognized in law, due primarily to economic forces holding on for dear life to slavery based on race.

    Today a similar condition exists. But slavery is now based on gender. Men are the present day slaves. Just as the economy in the South was based on racial slavery, economic forces of the divorce industry (the blame game of the current system of de facto fault divorce, providing profits to attorneys, psychologists, government agencies, etc.), subsidized by acts of congress like VAWA, are out of control, based on a policy of inequality for men which is destroying families.

    To strengthen families, we must enforce the U.S. Constitution inside family courts and repeal unconstitutional acts like VAWA and state statutes that promote unequal custody, not return to fault divorce. We can’t turn back the hands of time. Fault divorce dealt with marriage, and the issue of marriage is irrelevant to the issue of the constitutional right to be a parent.

    Government should get out of the marriage business, and into enforcement of the right to be a parent to one’s children. Children need both fit parents to be treated as equals. This is the only possible constitutional remedy for strengthening families. Family is a matter of biology. Marriage is a matter of religion which is legally of no concern to the state or federal government.

    If we are serious about promoting and strengthening families, we should either abolish the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and replace it with a federal Office of Parental Rights Enforcement, change the name and mission of the OCSE to the OPRE, or at least establish an OPRE.

    exiledfathers.org
    youtube.com/markyoung12

  • Paul Boyne

    The simple fix to the problem is to eliminate alimony and property transfer from a ‘no fault’ divorce. If one spouse wants out, fill out a form, submit it, get the judge to stamp it, no hearing required and walk away. The remaining spouse gets all the property, the kids and child support. Simple. No monetary compensation for a spouse who changes her mind about ‘richer, poorer, sickness, health…all the days of our lives’.

    How ‘No Fault’ generates a payment to the offending party is not really based in law. More like a way to live off of the other party or thievery. Needless to say, it all started in California….go figure.

  • Decriminalize Fatherhood

    “No fault” divorce, or more appropriately, “no justice” divorce, most assuredly depends on myth after myth to assure its prevalence and survival.

    But why do myths prevail over truth, justice, children, marriage, family, The Constitution, and societal decay? The answer of course is money.

    The $112 billion annual cost to taxpayers to subsidize (and enforce) “no fault” divorce is just the beginning. Lawyers, for example, are generally not paid by taxpayers, yet somewhere around 40% of all lawyer income is derived from “family law”, where if it’s not about the divorce itself, it’s more than likely about dealing with the ensuing destruction of people’s lives, especially children.

    Add in folks like custody evaluators, psychologists, psychiatrists, private “support enforcement” companies, the massive “abuse industry”, and the consumer and other costs, usually to fathers, of supporting two households instead of one, and it starts to become clear.

    In addition to the financing of government, a huge chunk of private industry depends upon half or more of all marriages ending in divorce. And there are powerful special interest groups not only working to ensure the status quo, but to increase revenues by further assault on the family.

    Foremost among the special interest groups depending upon massive divorce and wanton destruction of the family is the American Bar Association. Yet both political parties are beholding to lawyers and the ABA, which explains why you rarely hear a political candidate even mention the Bar Association as a special interest group.

    At some point we face an inevitable question to answer. What is more important, money to be made for destroying families, or basic human rights that pre-date government, the fundamental unit of society, our children, and our future. As I look around, those concerned with cashing in on the destruction are making all of the rules.

  • Claudia

    In Latin countries (read: Catholic) the divorce rate (divorces per year divided by marriages per year) is 20% and lower, for example, in Chile, the divorce rate is about 5%.

    In most Latin American countries divorce is bi-lateral (two need to agree) and fault (proof of reason for divorce presented to judge).

    China, a country of about 1.3 billion people and about 5,000 years old, has automatic position of children and property to the husband – the divorce rate is about 20%.

    America is unilateral (one person decides) and no-fault (no-reason needed), and the woman gets automatic custody of children and 18 years of tax-free income. The American divorce rate is over 50% and the marriage rate to all time lows and single mother families at all time highs.

    As a man, what country is the safest to start and raise a family?

  • Chester

    At the time of Divorce, I believe it would be best to establish a shared parenting split as the strong default. Imagine if these 4 simple rules were in place..

    At the time of divorce:
    1.BOTH parents get 50% of the kids time
    2.No child support since the responsibility is shared.
    3.This designated time cannot be taken away
    4.If either party wants to relinquish part of their time then they may do so. However by doing that you must also agree to pay the other party for assuming that responsibility.

    Imagine the kid

  • Bikerdad

    Many of the defender’s of No-Fault, in addition to simply reiterating the Myths that Dr. Baskerville addresses, are missing the point. If one looks at the subject of divorce from a contracts standpoint, the problem Baskerville is pointing out is glaringly obvious.

    No-Fault divorce allows one party to violate the contract without any penalty, and often with government enforced BENEFITS for the violator. The column doesn’t specifically address HOW this institutionalized injustice should be redressed, merely that it exists and needs fixing. Nor does the column explore whether the current situation is an unintended consequence or semi-intentional. Personally, I think its both. When no-fault stormed across the country, I believe many people ASSUMED good faith on the part of the divorcing party, and thus failed to examine the matter more fully.

    So how should it be resolved? Simple. From the legal perspective, treat “early termination” of the contract like any other contract. The one who violates the contract bears the consequences of doing so. If a spouse wants out “just because”, then let ‘em out. Nobody will be “forced to stay married.” They just won’t be force the other spouse to pay for the divorcer’s decision. Conversely, if the plaintiff has legitimate provable grounds, then the defendant is gonna pay.

    The second question is how should the Catholic Church respond? Well, first the American Catholic Church should hew more closely to the RC doctrine, which means among other things not handing out annulments like they’re candy. A good friend of mine from high school got an annulment (actually, I believe it was his “ex” who pursued it) even though it was their first marriage and they had multiple children. Second, they should take Christ’s words in Luke on remarriage following divorce seriously. When you read those words, consider WHO Christ was talking to, WHO He was talking about, and WHO that Gospel was directed at. Ditto for the Protestant churches in America.

    All the “premarital counseling” and other tripe like that isn’t going to mean squat if the Body of Christ continues to accept, endorse, and practice serial adultery. The mindset within the Body today is as much “no-fault” as the legal environment outside.

  • Patricia

    I agree with the simple fix post by Mr Boyne. As an abandoned wife with 4 children (he left me with 4 kids under the age of 8!) if a spouse walks away – that should be it NOTHING.
    Instead I spent over $50K trying to defend myself from my ex who then tried to get the kids and make himself a new family.
    We have no-fault divorce in Canada and it’s terrible.
    The kids and the abandoned spouse are the ones who suffer.
    BTW, all the people I know who are divorced, it was the MAN who left.

  • Mark Young

    “Marriage Law” is an oxymoron in the United States of America which is based on separation of church and state. Family is too SACRED to be subject to contract law. Unconscienable contracts are unenforceable. Those who want to go back to fault grounds – winner takes all, including the children – are advocating for slavery.

    Fit parent = no criminal conviction by a jury which would which would allow for a compelling state interest to deny his or her right to be a parent.

    http://www.childrensjustice.org/cases1.htm

    Forget about fault and no-fault. Unless a parent has been convicted of some crime – in CRIMINAL court by a jury of his or her peers – he or she has a fundamental right – endowed by the Creator, to be a parent.

    Simple Fix has the right idea = EQUALITY, as per the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Parents split custody equally and pay the other parent ONLY if they want less than equal custody but may always return to the default position of equal custody.

    This solution is the only constitutional remedy. It also removes the incentive to divorce. The government has no business requiring a license for marriage.

    http://www.ExiledFathers.org
    http://www.youtube.com/markyoung12

  • Peter Peterson

    American sociaty is like a rotting apple! Nice and shiny on the out side ! Full of **** on the inside! Time to cleen your own backyard!

  • Anon

    Chester:
    Believe me your rules although appearing to be very good would never work in most cases?
    They fail to take in the reality in divorce cases. I had been out of work for 14 years when my husband abandoned me. How would I have supported myself at the time of separation? It’s taken me 3 years plus a university graduate degree to just get started again!
    SEcondly I suggest you speak to kids who live at two homes. I have not met a child who likes this arrangement. Children are not stupid – they are well aware of the parent who abandoned them and it’s often very difficult to convince them that this person still loves them. Their actions do not validate the words spoken.
    Peace

  • Mark Young

    If you don’t like the principle of equality, I suggest you find another country where slavery is legal. You made the choice not to have an occupation to fall back on before your ex left you. Everyone should be prepared for such occurrences. What gives any adult the right to expect another adult partner to continue supporting him or her if one partner decides to move on? Life has no guarantees and is full of risks, ups and downs.

    Any person who wants to keep the current system of denying one parent his or her God-given rights – those which the Declaration names: to equality, including equality of parental rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of any breach of a so-called marriage contract, is a tyrant and does not understand the principles upon which this country was founded.

    If I get married, have kids, then my wife goes off with another man, that is indeed terrible for me and the kids. God hates divorce. So do I. Divorce is very impractical for most people.

    But no way would I seek to deny her equal parenthood, because she would still have those God-given rights named above, and unless she were convicted by a jury of her peers in a criminal court of some crime deeming her unfit to parent, she would keep that right. The government would have no basis for denying her that God-given right.

    We are born with those rights. The government does not give us rights and has no rights. We, The People, grant government certain limited privileges and responsibilities. The U.S. Constitution defines what the government can and cannot do. The government cannot legally take away our right to be a parent without a compelling state interest, such as a showing of harm to a child, which would be a crime.

    Neither should any contract deny God-given rights. You cannot contract away God-given UNALIENABLE rights.

    So, I just don

  • Mark Young

    The fact that you have not met a child who likes living in two homes does not mean that all children feel that way. Supposing it were true, which is not the case, that all children dislike living in two homes, that would not justify denial of the God-given, UNALIENABLE right to equality, including the right to be a parent.

    It is not clear what you mean by “abandoning”. And if the child lives with one parent part of the time and dislikes doing so, that raises several questions for each child you refer to:

    1) How can you say the parent abandoned the child if that parent still sees the child?
    2) What percentage of time does the child live with the “abandoning” parent?
    3) If its not equal time, why not?

    Divorce is impractical and should not be promoted or rewarded, but our current family court systems and public policies, both state and federal, do in fact just that. It is both promoted and rewarded. See Dr. Baskervilles Book “Taken Into Custody” for all the details.

    The best way to avoid children having two homes is for We, The People, to demand Equal Parenthood for fit and willing parents who do decide to divorce. This will remove the incentive to break up families and lower the divorce rate.

  • WI Catholic

    Manning wrote:

    The Right To Divorce Is A God-Given Human Right

    Now I have heard everything. The same God that you claim to serve says very clearly that He hates divorce. And there is a lot of justification, but no Truth on your website.

    Jesus said Moses allowed it due to hardness of heart, but God did not intend it to be that way. God did not give ‘that right’. Mankind did.

    Read Malachi 2 and 3.

  • NCDAD

    The Americna Family Law System is “Hitler’s State Of The Child” all over again.

    The Federal Government rewards States with monetary incetnives for every “Non-Cusodial” parent they create. And, a large percentage of these monetary incentives go into the Judges Retirment Funds.

    So, until you stop the flow of our tax payors money into the State Coffers and remove the American Var Associations cash cow of a divorce industry, nothing is going to change.

    Unfortunately, most American’s are not aware of what is really going on in our Family Courts until they walk through those courthouse doors themselves.

    Divorce is what has created the gay community, gangs, and many other sosial ills today.

    Our country was built on Family Values which are going by the wayside. How long can America survive without strong families?

  • Student

    [smiley=cool][smiley=cool]
    The “Simple Fix” written by Paul Boyne sounds like a winner. I know for a fact that the “no fault divorce” law helped an evil doer (adulterer, deceiver, etc.) abandoned the marriage and was awarded alimony. The evil one received the booty, and the innocent Christian mate was left holding the bag.

    Sadly, California will be judged; God hates a divorcing and he will take care of the matter in due time.

  • Andrew Cana

    Divorce is a grave sin according to the Catholic Church except in narrow circumstances. However, many are trying to rationalize their sin by obtaining easy annulments from disobedient marriage tribunals. Pope John Paul II commented to the Roman Rota in 1987 that we need protect against the

  • claudio

    As a former RC, born again evangelical, married for 25 years , unhappilly since the day after honeymoon, unhappy before marriage, married son’s mother due to parental pressures to “marry the girl or forget the child”, marriage encounter, counseling (secular, RC, Christian), followed RC religion, raised 4 christian children and miserable all during this ordeal: i’ve lost my Faith, simply want the freedom to find peace…should one provide for a spouse who simply will not seek employment? the stay home mom paradigm may be wonderful for the kids but forget financial freedom. Don’t judge and quote scripture and church theology-it’s all meaningless when life is, at best, a drudgery, at worse , not worth living. God Bless

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