Thursday, April 12, 2012

“The respondent is unreasonably demanding sex every night from the petitioner, which is causing friction between the parties”

Because of a lack of no-fault divorce laws in England, writes Sarah Lyall in the New York Times, spouses desiring to part ways must come up with all sorts of inventive faults to blame upon the other party.
“It’s insane,” Ms. Lloyd Platt said. “These things should not have any part in the procedure.”
But they come up all the time in England, which unlike every state in America does not have a no-fault divorce law.
… Under current English law, divorces are granted only under one of five categories, including adultery and abandonment. About half of the cases fall under the heading of a broad category called unreasonable behavior, in which one party has to accuse the other of acting so unreasonably that living together has become intolerable.

… Ms. Lloyd Platt compiled a list in The Times of London of some of the odder accusations of fault she and other lawyers have come across in divorce petitions.
In addition to the Klingon man [the wife who sued for divorce because her husband insisted she dress in a Klingon costume and speak to him in Klingon], there was a woman who said her husband had not spoken to her for 15 years, communicating only by Post-it note. And there was the man whose wife “would without justification flirt with any builder or tradesman, inappropriately touching them and declaring that she could not stop herself.”
One petition read: “The respondent insisted that his pet tarantula, Timmy, slept in a glass case next to the matrimonial bed,” even though his wife requested “that Timmy sleep elsewhere.”
There were complaints about husbands with atrocious body odor and others who changed the channels too fast. “The respondent husband repeatedly took charge of the remote television controller, endlessly flicking through channels and failing to stop at any channel requested by the petitioner,” one petition read.

… Sometimes, Ms. Lloyd Platt said, it is hard to keep a straight face, as in the case of the petition claiming “the respondent is unreasonably demanding sex every night from the petitioner, which is causing friction between the parties.”
In another moment of unintended hilarity, a client complained that her husband was dressing up in her clothes and “stretching all her best outfits,” Ms. Lloyd Platt said. “When the gentleman came in and he was 6-3 — I found that particularly hard to deal with,” she said.
Beyond the laughs, of course — and forgive us for breaking the jovial mood — we should not lose sight of the fact that no-fault divorce is hardly harmless, contrary to what leftists like the New York Times seem to claim ("If the government had enacted past proposals to allow no-fault divorce, … “there would have been no need for these painful investigations, which seem to represent the social values of a bygone age” ; In a speech last month, Justice Nicholas Wall, president of the family division of England’s high court, said that “I see no good arguments against no-fault divorce” ").
Indeed, no-fault divorce is the source of great hardship and has caused the deliberate administration of injustice, along with the rise of a divorce industry filled with parasites, as Stephen Baskerville points out in his book, Taken Into Custody (The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family).
… Contrary to popular belief (and centuries of common-law precedent), child support today has nothing to do with fathers abandoning their children, reneging on their marital vows, of even agreeing to a divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those divorced over their objections and who lose their children through no legal fault or agreement of their own. It is an entitlement, in short, for all divorcing mothers

The regime of involuntary divorce, forcible removal of children, coerced child support, and knowingly false accusations is now warping our entire legal system, undermining and overturning principles of common law that have protected individual rights for centuries. The presumption of innocence has been inverted

… The federal funding also supplies an added incentive to make guidelines as onerous as possible and to squeeze every dollar from every parent available (as well as to turn as many parents as possible into payers by providing financial incentives for mothers to divorce)…