It’s a Court System, Not a Justice System

Years ago, in the midst of my divorce, I was sitting in therapy, again bemoaning the injustices of divorce in Minnesota. I was beyond frustrated at the lack of enforcement of court orders, at the assumption that moms are better parents than dads, and that no one seemed to think that my case was as urgent as I thought it was.

“Stop calling it the ‘Family Justice System,’” my therapist said.

“What?” I asked. “That’s what it’s called.”

[Read more...]

All I Want for Father’s Day: Equal Parenting Time

I’ve blogged in the past about the injustice in the parenting time laws in Minnesota and other states. In fact, I testified in front of a Minnesota Senate hearing on the matter. The law passed on a bi-partisan basis, but was vetoed by our short-sighted governor, after he was lobbied by divorce lawyers. As it stands, dads still get the shaft in most states when it comes to post-divorce custody.

Now, Gail Rosenblum reports, women are joining the fight. In fact, the new group that has formed is only women:

It’s not all wrapped up yet, but a big gift is arriving for divorced dads who want equal time with their kids.

Launched in early May and already claiming a broad spectrum of members across the United States and Canada, a new advocacy group is determined to finally make equally shared parenting a reality.

These aren’t a bunch of guys. Every member is a woman.

Leading Women for Shared Parenting (www.lw4sp.org), founded in May in Massachusetts, will launch officially on Father’s Day. Many members aren’t waiting.

[Read more...]

Marriage Advice from Divorcées

Since the dissolution of my first marriage, I have been reluctant to give anyone marriage advice. I think most divorcées probably share this reluctance. Fellow Patheos blogger Wendy Murray does, but vulnerably, humbly, and thoughtfully ventures into that space anyway. She has several good pieces of advice in the post, but this is the one that I most resonate with, and the one that I’ve been most careful to attend to in my current, beautiful marriage:

Time is not benign

Wendy Murray

There is a trajectory being set for your marriage, even in these earliest days — in fact especially in these earliest days. Time will do its work, again — for better or for worse. Right now, patterns are being developed between you and your spouse that will continue to increase in magnitude over time.

Read the rest: Advice to Newlyweds from a (Divorced) Pastor’s Wife.

No-Fault Divorce: It’s NOT Destroying Marriage

Last year, I was talking about gay marriage with a Christian leader whose name you would know. After pushing back on my arguments for a while, he finally shrugged his shoulders and said, “It doesn’t really matter, since no-fault divorce laws have already pretty much gutted marriage in our country.”

I was honestly shocked. Having survived a no-fault divorce (that was nevertheless contentious and exorbitantly expensive), I had never heard someone make this argument before, much less state it as though it were common knowledge. No one that I know of in the Family Court system thinks that no-fault divorce is bad. (And to read how bad a divorce can be, even with no-fault divorce, read this harrowing account of the Worst Divorce EVER.)

Mark Silk has run into a similar argument from a Catholic who is similarly debating same-sex marriage. And Silk handily debunks the argument:

My friend the prolific NCR blogger Michael Sean Winters argues that they should throw in the towel, not because he supports SSM (he doesn’t), but because the marriage war was lost decades ago, when the bishops failed to stand in the way of no-fault divorce.

I can see why such an argument might be something of a balm for ecclesiastical potentates like Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit and Bishop Tobin of Providence, who can barely contain their apoplexy at this threat to civilization as they know it. After all, they weren’t bishops when the no-fault divorce laws went into effect.

Nevertheless, it’s a bad argument and one that teaches the wrong lesson.

It’s a bad argument because no-fault divorce laws had nothing to do with the rise in divorce rates, which began their ascent in the late 1950s. Between 1970 and 1977, nine states adopted no-fault divorce. By 1983, all but two states had. Whereupon divorce rates began to decline.

Read the rest and see the graph: What hath SSM to do with no-fault divorce? | Spiritual Politics.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X