Tag: board certified divorce attorney

Separate Beds to Prevent Divorce

Separate bedrooms may not be the most romantic idea, but couples who sleep together in the same bed are more likely to suffer snoring, tossing, turning and other nocturnal disturbances. These sleep disruptions can lead to health problems, sexual dysfunction and even fights. The idea of separate beds to prevent divorce might be something to sleep on.

Sleep Divorce

Did Lucy and Ricky Have it Right?

Should we return to the “I Love Lucy” days of separate beds? The idea is gaining fans. The more secure partners feel in their relationship, the more comfortable they tend to be with the idea of sleeping separately.

“Happy, long-term couples are more inclined to have well-developed communication skills and patterns, which are key to making separate sleeping arrangements work.”

A 2016 Paracelsus Private Medical University in Nuremberg, Germany, showed that sleep issues and relationship problems tend to occur simultaneously and that a partner’s sleepless night caused by snorting and other disturbances can result in conflicts in the relationship the next day.

In fact, a 2012 survey by the Better Sleep Council showed that one in four couples sleeps separately for a better night’s sleep. Yet 46 percent of Americans polled last year said they wished they could sleep apart from their partner.

Florida No-Fault Divorce

I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”, and you don’t need fault as a ground for divorce.

Florida abolished fault as a ground for divorce. This means you no longer have to prove a reason for the divorce, like loud snoring. Instead, you just need to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of sleep-deprived couples who felt the need to resort to exaggerations about loud snoring, lies about nocturnal kicking, and other false allegations about husbands in trial testimony.

Separate Beds & Counting Sheep

Some say that gender also plays a role. “It’s usually the wife or girlfriend who favors the idea of separate beds. Women are more sensitive to their bed mate’s bad habits and pregnancy and hormonal changes or problems can cause them to want to sleep alone.

The his-and-her bedroom backdrop from “I Love Lucy,” in the 1950’s, might have been one of the first times many saw a married couple in separate beds, but it is not an unusual concept for happy sleeping.

“We started sleeping separately when I was pregnant with our first child. I would toss and turn and not get enough sleep, so on occasion I would sleep in the spare room,” said one 41-year-old woman from Brisbane.

“Once I was pregnant with our second baby, one of us would sleep in the spare room to ensure we both got a good night’s sleep,” she said. “My husband’s snoring and blanket-hogging frustrated me when I was very tired and I would sometimes wake him up to tell him to stop, which of course he didn’t appreciate. It wasn’t until years later that it became more routine.”

Separate sleeping arrangements can include pairing side by side beds of similar size, having a smaller plus a larger bed in the room that the couple could share when they want to be intimate, or designating nights in a spare room. Separate bedrooms are another option.

Being open and honest with your partner about why you want to sleep separately is essential. “What’s equally as important to why you want to sleep apart is how you plan to ensure intimacy is retained in the relationship.”

Healthy couples who sleep separately can be as happy as healthy couples who sleep together. “They seem to have as good a sex life as couples who share the same bed. They feel very close to their partner. Maybe it’s because they respect each other’s personal space.”

For couples not ready for separate sleeping domains, a happy medium could be met with the right sleep solution. Investing in an adjustable mattress that accommodates both partners sleeping needs or pushing together two separate mattresses can help solve conflicts while still allowing a couple to remain close.

The New York Times article is here.

 

New Divorce Expert Witness Rule

Many people know that in 2013 Florida passed a law which changed the divorce expert witness rule and how experts could testify in family law cases. A few people warned that the new law may be unconstitutional because of the way it passed. Fewer people know that in 2018 the Florida Supreme Court threw out the new rule. Even fewer people know that last week the court changed it all back.

Divorce Expert

The Frye Pan

People rely on all sorts of expert witnesses in divorce and family law cases, maybe more than most areas of law. Routinely, people will come to trial with accountants, psychologists, and other experts in tow.

Since 1923 courts have relied on the Frye Rule, which states that expert opinion based on a scientific technique is only admissible where the technique is generally accepted as reliable in the scientific community.

In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a new standard which requires trial judges to screen expert testimony for relevance and reliability. The “Daubert test” developed in three product liabilities cases. The plaintiffs tried to introduce expert testimony to prove products caused their damages. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately tightened the rules for admitting expert testimony

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

In 2013, the Florida Legislature amended the Florida Evidence Code to start following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Daubert standard for the admission of expert testimony and the basis for an expert’s opinion.

I’ve written about the Constitutional problem with the way the legislature created the new law. When the legislature passes a law encroaching on courtroom practice and procedure, the laws are unconstitutional. However, the Legislature can enact substantive laws.

When one branch of government encroaches on another branch, Florida traditionally applies a “strict separation of powers doctrine.” Given that the Evidence Code contains both substantive and procedural provisions, there is a question whether the Legislature violated the separation of powers doctrine.

The Florida Evidence Code contains both substantive and procedural provisions, so there was a suspicion that the Legislature violated the separation of powers doctrine when it amended the code this way. At the time however, that issue has not been accepted by the Florida Supreme Court to date. The latest decision corrected that.

Frying Frye

The Florida Supreme Court, as part of its Constitutional rule-making authority has the power to adopt Legislative changes to the Evidence Code. As we saw before, the Court previously refused to adopt the Daubert amendments, to the extent that they are procedural, solely:

“due to the constitutional concerns raised” by the Committee members and people who opposed the amendments.”

This year, without re-addressing the correctness of the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling in DeLisle v. Crane Co, and after noting that DeLisle did not address the amendment to section 90.704 made by section 2 of chapter 2013-107, the Court chose to recede from its prior decision not to adopt the Legislature’s Daubert amendments.

The Court remarked that the Daubert standard has been routinely applied in federal courts since 1993, a majority of states adhere to Daubert, and caselaw after Daubert shows that the rejection of expert testimony is the exception rather than the rule.

Citing to Animal House, one of the dissenters to the majority opinion, newly appointed Justice, Robert J. Luck, poked fun at the High Court’s swift rule change:

Like the little-known codicil in the Faber College constitution, the concurring opinion cites section II.G.1. of our internal operating procedures, which provides that “the Court, on its own motion, may adopt or amend rules.” Id. (quoting Fla. S. Ct. Internal Op. Proc. II.G.1.). According to Westlaw, no court, including ours, has ever cited this language or any part of section II. Ever.

Effective immediately, the Florida Supreme Court adopted the amendments to section 90.702 as procedural rules of evidence, and adopted the amendment to section 90.704 to the extent it is procedural.

The Supreme Court opinion is available here.

 

Divorce Tax Strategies

As the New York Times reports, divorce can be a business negotiation. Harsh as that may sound — especially if there are children being fought over — when a couple gets to a final hearing or mediation, numbers matter. There are some divorce tax strategies you should know about involving the home, alimony, and even the time allotted with children.

divorce tax strategies

New Tax Code

Divorce negotiations are never easy, but they became even more complicated this year after the sweeping overhaul of our tax code changed many of the calculations that factor into the logistics of divorce.

The most sweeping tax legislation since 1986 was signed into law in 2017 and are only now taking effect. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes reductions to income tax rates, reduces the income tax rate for corporations and pass-through entities like Sub-S corps and LLCs.

The revised tax code has brought some surprises to couples going through a divorce too, and many lawyers are suggesting that clients bring accountants into the divorce team to lay out the tax implications of age-old strategies.

Nothing is Certain: Divorce and Taxes

I’ve written about divorce and taxes before. The new tax code changes will impact your divorce, but the alimony deduction change may not be the only tax change which you should take into consideration in your divorce.

Many people are criticizing the new tax law in general. For example the decision to end the alimony deduction receives a lot of criticism. Many are saying it made divorce worse.

People won’t be willing to pay as much in alimony, which will disproportionately hurt women who tend to earn less and are more likely to be on the receiving end of alimony payments.

On the other hand, the alimony deduction itself has also been criticized. For example, the government argues the deduction is a burden on the IRS because, if the alimony amounts ex-spouses report paying and receiving don’t match, it can force the agency to audit two people who may already be feuding.

So, what are some of the new divorce ax strategies to consider with the changes to the tax code?

Alimony

Everyone involved in divorce has been talking about what happened to alimony and taxes. Last year I was warning clients in the midst of their divorces to hurry things up because of the new tax law changes which made alimony not deductible anymore. But like love, divorce cannot be rushed.

For divorces completed this year, and in the future, the spouse paying alimony can no longer deduct the alimony from taxes while the spouse receiving the money no longer has to claim it as income.

The loss has made alimony payments more costly to the paying spouse because it eliminated a tax break that often served as a reason to bring about an agreement by taking off the sting of alimony payments.

Family Home

The new tax law’s restrictions on deducting state and local taxes (the so-called “SALT” deductions) surprised many who saw their tax bill go up. When it comes to divorce, that limitation on deducting your real estate taxes can turn your home into a hot potato.

Usually, the spouse with less money would often want to keep the marital home for the children, but doing so now has become more costly.

In high-property-tax states, some divorcing couples are looking to get rid of second homes as well. Some states further complicate the process by having a set of standards that were created when alimony and state and local taxes were deductible on federal tax returns. While the SALT deductions have changed, the standards have not.

Dependents

The tax value of children in a divorce was also changed in the tax overhaul. In financial terms, children have become a smaller deduction.

The exemption for each dependent — $4,050 per person — was eliminated, but the child tax credit was increased to $2,000.

That credit starts to phase out at $200,000 of income for an individual and disappears at $240,000. This can impact you because the credit can be given to the spouse with lower income in exchange for a break elsewhere in the negotiations.

The New York Times article is here.

 

How to Discuss Divorce?

Forget about complex divorce legal issues, the talk about who gets what, and where you’ll live. This post answers a tougher question: how do you tell your spouse you want a divorce?

Discussing Divorce

‘We have to talk’

You’ve no doubt seen it in the movies when it’s shouted out in an argument: “I want a divorce!” But is there a right way to discuss divorce and to let your spouse know your feelings about them?

To say that telling your partner you want to discuss divorce is delicate is an understatement. It is an enormous decision, one that, when raised, will alter both of your lives forever.

Unless you want a big legal battle, or want to treat each other uncivilly forever, it’s in everyone’s interest to learn how to tell your spouse it’s over. So how do you deliver such life-altering news?

Timing is Everything

First, you want to choose a time to discuss divorce when your partner is emotionally ready. Avoid those times when they’re already stressed or emotional.

This is the sort of discussion in which it pays to be patient and remember that the announcement can wait until a moment when its impact will be the least damaging.

Florida Divorce

I’ve written about grounds for divorce before. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning you no longer have to prove someone was at fault for ending the marriage. This takes a lot of pressure off of the conversation about divorce.

In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

The only ground you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Additionally, the mental incapacity of one of the parties, where the party was adjudged incapacitated for the prior three year, is another avenue.

Knowing that in Florida no one has to be found at fault in order to file a petition for dissolution of marriage should help you and your spouse when you discuss divorce.

Location, location, location

Ideally, you want to discuss divorce in a private, quiet space. Avoid crowded restaurants, shopping malls, or even at home if the kids are in the next room or you have family and friends over.

Avoid phrases like, “You should have,” “You don’t,” or “You didn’t.” You also need to be honest about what you’re feeling and why you believe this decision is the right one.

If you’re in couple’s therapy, the therapist’s office might be a good location. The therapist can help create healthy boundaries moving forward which can prove invaluable when the going gets tough.

Avoid the Specifics

When you discuss divorce for the first time, there is no reason to get into specifics of how the divorce will work. You can leave out the parenting plan, or any other specifics. The emotional toll of discussing a divorce is tough enough, talking about the petty details of the process could be overwhelming.

If your partner is going to be surprised about the divorce and is going to be hearing about it for the first time, don’t talk about dividing the IRA, who should have the kids for summer, or the details of your new apartment.

You want to give the person time to digest the concept, show emotion, and ask questions. Don’t make it worse by blaming the other spouse for their shortcomings.

Even if a divorce is more one-sided, chances are that neither party in the marriage is particularly thrilled about the way things have been going. With this in mind, it’s wise to open the conversation by laying the cards on the table.

The Fatherly article is here.

 

Divorce Dress Code?

There are a lot of curious family laws around the world, but a divorce dress code? One of the most peculiar laws comes from the African nation of Ghana, where divorce is permitted on one condition: the parties attend divorce court dressed the way they dressed at their wedding ceremony.

Divorce Dress Code

This is your Ghanaian Divorce

According to viral news reports – from such trusted sources as the internet – citizens of Ghana are allowed to divorce but only if they attend court dressed the same way they dressed at their wedding; with wedding gowns and tuxedos.

This condition creates very humorous situations in the so-called “Divorce Rooms”, where Ghanaians must go if they want to end their marriage.

In other African countries like in Togo, to be able to divorce, first you must go to your mother-in-law and explain your reasons for divorce in the hope you can receive her approval. Togo today may have a 0% divorce rate.

Florida Divorce

The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”, you don’t need to show fault, and you definitely don’t have to wear your wedding gown.

Instead, you need to prove you have been a resident of the State of Florida for more than six months before filing your petition and be able to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Additionally, mental incapacity is grounds for divorce in Florida, but a court must determine one of the spouses to be incompetent after an examination by a committee. If there is a declaration of mental incapacity, there is a three-year waiting period.

While there are no dress codes in Florida, I’ve written about how you should dress in court before. For example, and as one couple painfully learned, don’t come to a custody hearing wearing your Nazi uniform. You should instead dress in a neat and professional manner.

Meanwhile in Nigeria…

Sure, the Ghana divorce dress code story is fake news. But the idea of dressing appropriately for court is a universal concept. It shows respect for yourself, your children, the court, and the people who labor in it.

In other news, it appears a Nigerian man really did marry his guitar in a ceremony in Lagos. Harris Best shared photos of himself and his guitar – which he dressed in a white wedding gown – on his Twitter account. He took other musical instruments to the wedding venue at Aguda Local Council Development Area in Lagos.

The PM News article from Nigeria is here.

 

Rules for a Divorce Announcement

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced their divorce last week. Being the world’s richest man, a divorce announcement is big news. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, there are rules to writing one.

divorce announcement

“Alexa, read me a divorce announcement”

In a world of social media, where personal news like divorce can spread to millions in minutes, the days of sitting down and privately explaining to friends and family your decision are over.

For CEOs, its also a matter of re-assuring shareholders, employees, and customers that they won’t experience any turbulence.

Announcements allow you to frame the narrative of your case: to set the tone and story so others don’t have to guess what’s going on or how you approach divorce.

“Alexa, what do you need to divorce”

I’ve written on various topics about divorce. There can be good and bad divorces. How you announce your divorce these days has dramatically changed. This change has given you a lot of power over how your break-up is perceived by others.

But does it matter? Historically to obtain a divorce, you had to prove legal grounds such as adultery. This often-required additional expenses making the divorce process more expensive and cumbersome than it already was.

Florida Statutes actually still provide that these things may be considered in certain circumstances in the award of alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities, and determination of parental responsibility, but courts give them little consideration from a legal perspective.

In the years leading up to the enactment of “no-fault” divorce, courts often granted divorces on bases that were easier to prove, the most common being “mental cruelty.”

In Florida, either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. You must prove that a marriage exists, one party has been a Florida resident for six months before filing the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken. Because of the advent of no-fault divorce, your announcements should be focusing on things other than the cause of the divorce.

“Alexa, write an announcement”

You don’t have to be famous to announce your divorce. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow invented the catchy phrase: “conscientious uncoupling” in her divorce announcement from singer Chris Martin. That announcement put a good spin on her divorce. But, there are some other good rules to follow.

Rule One

Wait until the decision to split is final. If you’ve announced your divorce and then reconcile, it could get awkward.

Rule Two

Announce publicly after you’ve told your children, family and close friends. Remember the point is to own the narrative, so get your message out ahead of gossip and speculation.

Rule Three

Strike a positive tone — remember that your children and family will be reading it — and present a united front.

Rule Four

Don’t lie. If you don’t love your ex, don’t say: “Although we still love each other we need to move on.” It’s enough to state that it just didn’t work out.

The Wall Street Journal is available here.

 

New Year Divorce

You are not alone. Divorce filings surge in January as people decide to start their New Year with a clean slate, helped by a stressful holiday period and, perhaps, even more stressful family members. What should you do if you’re considering a new year divorce?

new year divorce

New Year Resolutions

I’ve written about divorce issues and their causes before. As Market Place reports, being cooped up in a house during the holidays when a marriage is experiencing serious problems – while dealing with the pressure to put on a happy face for the kids and visiting relatives – takes its toll on the most stoic of couples.

People want to wait until after the holidays – especially if they have younger children at home. They think:

Let’s not ruin the holidays and their memories with a divorce. Let’s wait and talk about how we want to move things along in the new year.

And after seeing other families at their best on Facebook and Instagram – the idea of perfect looking families haunts many couples who wonder why their lives don’t look as happy.

That’s probably because people don’t post bad selfies with their families or write about how awful things are on social media. So, people’s perception of what other people are thinking about during high stress times like the holidays is misleading.

Another word of caution, due to the new tax code changes, the recipient of spousal support will not have to claim it as income and the payor will not be able to use alimony as a deduction any longer.

What should you do? Whatever the reason for your problems, there are a few things that anyone looking into divorce for the first time needs to know to help them through the process.

Prioritize

Line up your priorities for life after the divorce. Is it finding a home? Is it retiring? Getting a job? Managing your special-needs child? Consider writing down your most important goals.

Consult

Even if you aren’t certain you need to hire an attorney, or filing for divorce at all, it is a good idea to meet with an expert in Florida’s divorce and family laws. Who better than someone certified by Florida as an expert in marital and family law?

Alternatives

Litigation is something to avoid. It’s time-consuming, contentious and expensive. The majority of divorces end up settling. There are many forms of alternative dispute resolution out there, including collaborative divorce, mediation, and informal settlement conferences.

Have a Happy New Year

As Market Watch further reports, there is good reason for treating a divorce like a calm business deal. Don’t rush to file. Think about your end game. Many people file quickly out of anger perhaps after learning of a spouse’s misconduct. But it’s better to be strategic.

Divorces are up there with a major investment like buying a home. There’s one big difference with divorces though: They can be devastating for your finances, especially if your partner earned more money and the couple are forced to sell their home.

The Market Watch article is here.

 

Divorce in a Fortnite

Are too many pro athletes playing Fortnite? Is Fortnite addictive? Has Fortnite caused hundreds to divorce? This Christmas, many people are asking those very questions as everyone settles into play their holiday gifts.

Divorce Fortnite

Launch Pad

According to the Independent, numerous reports – published by just about every news major news organization – have recently claimed that some 5% of divorces are being caused by the online game.

The sources can all be traced back to one website called Divorce Online, which provides tools to people who are splitting up and need legal advice. And that pointed to some numbers that make clear that the story might not be all that it seems.

In fact, what actually happened is just a standard and depressing break down of relationships because of an addiction to online games. And the recent reports about Fortnite appear to be just a consequence of something being too good – or bad – to check.

All of the reports originated with that post on Divorce Online. Its headline read “Is Fortnite becoming a relationship wrecker?” and it went on to say that the site had dug into data generated about the people who were using its services.

“The company has done some data mining after seeing an increase in enquiries where Fortnite has been mentioned as part of the reason someone wanted to file a divorce”.

“It has received 200 divorce petitions since January 1st 2018 where addiction to Fortnite and other online games has been cited as one of the reasons for divorce.”

Many took that sentence and wrote stories suggesting that 200 divorces this year had been caused by Fortnite. But if that seems like a high number, it’s because it probably is: that “and other online games” is doing a lot of work, allowing the site to tie the news to a game that is famous but which might not have been cited in those divorces, which were actually about games in general.

Florida No Fault Divorce

Whether Fortnite is the reason for a marriage going bad or not, is largely irrelevant in getting a divorce in Florida. That’s because Florida has enacted a “no-fault divorce” law.

I’ve written about the no-fault concept before. The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”, and you don’t need to prove some kind of fault as grounds for divorce. Florida abolished fault as a ground for divorce.

In Florida, either spouse can file for the dissolution of marriage. You must prove that a marriage exists, one party has been a Florida resident for six months before filing the petition, and the marriage is irretrievably broken.

However, fault may be considered under certain circumstances in the award of alimony, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities, and determination of parental responsibility.

Battle Royale

Digging into the numbers, Divorce Online gave absolutely no indication how many of those divorces were caused by Fortnite itself. So possibly fewer than 200 divorces were caused by the game. Possibly, the other divorces were caused by other games.

More likely, the numbers reflect digital addiction in general. “These now include online pornography, online gaming and social media, so it is no surprise to us that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions,” the site wrote in quotation attributed to a spokesperson.

“Fortnite is all over the news right now as one of the most addictive digital games ever played”.

The Independent article is here.

 

Divorce and Short Term Marriages

Baretta action star, Robert Blake, has filed for divorce from his third wife, Pamela Hudak, just a year after the two strolled into Beverly Hills City Hall to obtain their marriage license. What is the impact of such a short-term marriage on divorce?

divorce alimony

And that’s the name of that tune!

According TMZ, actor Robert Blake filed docs in Los Angeles Friday to call the relationship quits. The 85-year-old married Pamela Hudak in Spring of 2017. The couple had known each other for decades and even dated years ago. Blake was previously married to Sondra Kerry from 1961 to 1983.

Florida Divorce

I’ve written about divorce and the length of a marriage before. Florida Statutes actually define what the length of your marriage means. For example, in order to determine alimony, there is a rebuttable presumption in Florida that a short-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of less than 7 years.

Florida Statutes define a moderate-term marriage as a marriage having a duration of greater than 7 years but less than 17 years. And, a long-term marriage is a marriage having a duration of 17 years or greater.

How do you measure the marriage term? In Florida, the length of your marriage is the period of time measured from the date of your marriage until the date of filing of an action to dissolve your marriage.

The Length of your marriage is very important when it comes to determining the kind of duration of alimony payments. For example, permanent alimony is generally for longer term marriages if the statutory criteria are met.

In shorter term marriages and for moderate term marriages, permanent alimony may be considered, but the burden of proof is much higher.

Conversely, bridge-the-gap alimony is generally awarded to allow a person to transition from being married to being single. So, bridge-the-gap alimony is designed for short-term needs. In fact, the length of an award bridge-the-gap alimony may not exceed 2 years.

Durational alimony helps provide a person with economic help for a set period of time after short or moderate length marriages or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.

The length of your marriage also factors in to property divisions. When a court divides the marital assets and debts, the court begin with the premise that the distribution should be equal. One of the factors a court can look to in justifying an unequal distribution includes the duration of the marriage.

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

Blake was accused of murdering his second wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. Blake was her tenth husband. Bakley was fatally shot while sitting in Blake’s parked car outside a Los Angeles-area restaurant in May 2001.

In 2002, Robert Blake was charged with Bakley’s murder, solicitation of murder, conspiracy and special circumstance of lying in wait. In March 2005, a jury found Blake not guilty of the crimes.

Seven months later, Blake was found liable in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against him by Bakley’s children. Officially, Bakley’s murder remains unsolved.

The TMZ article is here.

 

Can You Pass the Divorce Test?

As if fighting with your spouse wasn’t stressful enough, in China authorities require that you pass a quiz to divorce. Here’s the rub: the better you do on the test, the less likely the divorce will be approved.

Divorce Quizzes

According to the New York Times, the Chinese Divorce Test, which has been issued in at least two provinces since last year, follow the format of a typical three-part school exam: fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and an essay.

Questions include the mundane — “When is your anniversary?” — and the philosophical: “Have you fulfilled your responsibility to your family?”

The quizzes — 15 questions, scored on a scale of 100 points — were developed as a way to prevent “impulse divorces”.

Local news outlets reported that the authorities considered a score of 60 points or higher to mean “room for recovery,” and those couples were encouraged to work on their marriages.

Florida No Fault Divorce

Florida has made it much easier to divorce, which is a subject I’ve written about before. For example, we have abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. The only grounds you need to file for divorce in Florida is to prove your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

No fault divorce laws exist in all 50 states to make it possible for one party to get a divorce without proving any bad behavior took place, and without getting the permission of the other spouse.

Before the no-fault divorce era in the United States, people who wanted to get divorce either had to reach agreement in advance with the other spouse that the marriage was over or prove wrongdoing.

No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. No fault laws have reduced the number of feuding couples who felt the need to resort to distorted facts, lies, and the need to focus the trial on who did what to whom.

China is different. China is going through growing pains and dealing with modern problems like separation and divorce. The Chinese Divorce Test is a novel approach to dealing with rising divorce rates.

Chinese Water Torture?

According to the Times:

Through the guidance of the questions, couples can reminisce on the moments of their relationship and reflect on their familial roles and responsibilities. Nearly two million Chinese couples divorced in the first half of 2017, an 11 percent increase from the year before, according to state news media. About 3 percent of all married couples sought a divorce last year, up from fewer than 1 percent in 2002.

The quizzes were meant only to be a starting point, not the deciding factor in whether a couple can split up. But at least one couple’s high score resulted in the authorities’ preventing their divorce in another province last year.

A court in Yibin, a city in Sichuan Province, refused to grant the couple a divorce in September after citing their stellar test scores, according to local news outlets.

More than 70 percent of divorces filed in China last year were initiated by women, The South China Morning Post reported, citing the Supreme People’s Court. In most filings, incompatibility was given as the major reason; 15 percent cited domestic violence.

However, a smaller number of divorces appear to be shams resulting from a quirk in Chinese real estate law. Some cities limit the number of properties a married couple can own. By legally divorcing, a couple can buy more real estate in some of the world’s most expensive cities.

Experts said the state’s focus on preventing divorce stems from a Confucian belief that a stable society is made up of complete families. Some Chinese citizens criticize the quizzes for treating people like children.

So, if you remember your wedding anniversary you can’t divorce? Divorce isn’t a case of amnesia.

The New York Times article is here.