Nora Ephron once said, “Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from.” With that in mind, how is Sarah Jessica Parker’s new television program: Divorce holding up?
The New Yorker reviews Parker’s new series. Explaining in the first episode why she wants to divorce, Parker’s character, Frances, says to her husband, Robert, “I want to save my life while I still care about it.”
I’ve written about fault and divorce before. Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
As the article explains, can “no fault” ever truly mean no fault? Regardless of which divorce route the fictional Frances and Robert may be on, there are some old-style recriminations flowing from her affair with another man. He says, “You’re the villain here, not me.”
“Remember that divorce you wanted? Well, I want one, too. But that sneaky, easy, friendly way that you were hoping for? You can forget it.”
In “Divorce,” the husband is poised to make an alimony claim on his wife’s income. Frances’s friend warns her, “Unless you want to end up with nothing, you need to destroy him before he destroys you.”
“Isn’t there a way to do this without lawyers?” is the setup for the too-common trajectory from attempts at civilized resolution to protracted war, in which empathy for the other drops out entirely.
The article finishes by noting that how a couple lived in their marriage – who spent more time with the children, who worked longer hours, who made more money, who sacrificed a job or earning potential – becomes the material with which legal divorce claims are constructed.
The New Yorker article is here.
Information on the HBO series can be found here.