Tag: No Fault Divorce

Fault and Extreme Cruelty in Divorce

The South Dakota Supreme Court weighs in on when a divorce can be issued on fault based grounds of extreme cruelty. A father in a divorce case was awarded custody of his children, attorneys’ fees and sanctions the hard way.

Divorce Extreme Cruelty

Bad Marriages in the Badlands

Rachel Evens and Tim Evens were married in 2005 and have four children. Tim owned and operated a carpet cleaning business, known as Tim Evens Carpet Care. Rachel began working for Tim’s carpet cleaning business and Tim gave her a 90% ownership interest.

Then things went bad.

Rachel obtained a domestic violence injunction based on allegations that Tim physically and sexually assaulted her. She removed the children from their schools in Rapid City and took them to Montana. But after an evidentiary, the court found her testimony was not credible and denied the injunction.

When Tim traveled 750 miles to get the children, Rachel prevented Tim’s departure by taking the keys to his vehicle and physically engaging him by pushing and pulling him inside of her house and in front of the children.

Rachel was represented by four different attorneys, each of whom quickly moved to withdraw

Rachel physically and mentally abused Tim, loudly accusing Tim of extramarital affairs at a restaurant, causing patrons to take notice. After dinner, Rachel told Tim she was going out to find a man to satisfy her, only to return later to taunt him by advising him she had succeeded in her effort.

Rachel falsely accused Tim of raping her, failing to pay taxes and hunting without a license, all of which the court determined were unsupported by the evidence

Tim commenced a divorce alleging irreconcilable differences or, in the alternative, extreme cruelty. Tim also requested primary physical custody of the children, equitable division of the parties’ assets, and child support

Florida Fault and Extreme Cruelty

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. 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.

Unlike South Dakota, Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or extreme cruelty.

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.

Supreme Court of the Black Hills

The Supreme Court of South Dakota found that the family judge had made detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law as part of its decision to grant Tim’s request for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty.

Specifically, the court found that Rachel had physically abused Tim, including hitting, slapping, and kneeing him, as well as spitting in his face. The court also found Rachel had mentally abused Tim by calling him several names, including “stupid, dumb” and a “prick of a man.”

Rachel also told Tim that she was going to find someone else to satisfy her while also accusing him of having extramarital affairs and leveling unsupported allegations that he had committed serious criminal misconduct.

The court credited testimony from several witnesses who relayed derogatory comments Rachel made about Tim to her family, the parties’ children, and their friends.

This behavior, the court found, had continued throughout the marriage with more frequent, escalating incidents over time. As a result, the court found that “Rachel’s conduct toward Tim during this marriage has caused Tim great pain, anxiety, stress, grievous mental and physical suffering and constitutes extreme cruelty.

The circuit court’s comprehensive custody analysis includes over 300 findings directed to determining the children’s best interests. These findings are supported by the record, and we conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion by granting primary custody to Tim.

The South Dakota Supreme Court opinion is here.

 

Cardi B, Divorce, and Infidelity

Singer Cardi B has filed for divorce from rapper husband Offset because of his alleged infidelity. The divorce petition was filed in Georgia, and there is an initial hearing scheduled for November. Many have asked whether infidelity is grounds for a divorce.

Cardi B Divorce

No Longer Migos

Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known professionally as Cardi B, became an Internet celebrity and her debut album was number one on the Billboard 200, broke several streaming records, was certified triple platinum and named by Billboard the top female rap album of the 2010s.

Kiari Kendrell Cephus, known professionally as Offset, is a member of the hip hop and trap music trio, Migos. The couple married in 2017 in a secret ceremony.

Our relationship was so new breaking up and making up and we had a lot of growing up to do but we was so in love we didn’t want to lose each other, was one morning in September we woke up and decided to get married … No dress no make up and no ring.

Their daughter, Kulture, was born in July 2018 – Cardi B’s first child and Offset’s fourth. Cardi B is reportedly seeking primary custody, and child support from Offset.

Florida Divorce and Infidelity

I’ve written about the impact of infidelity and divorce before. In practical terms, adultery as a crime poses very little threat of prosecution, but it could have other consequences.

“Cheating on your spouse can even be grounds for losing your job. This is particularly true in the military, where adultery has a maximum punishment of a dishonorable discharge.”

Chapter 61 discusses the “the moral fitness of the parents” as one of the factors the court considers in determining the best interests of a child. Adultery may impact the division of property. Proof that one spouse intentionally wasted marital assets could be seen as dissipation of assets. Adultery of either spouse could be a factor in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.

There are times when evidence of adultery comes into evidence. Most often it doesn’t. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that sexual activity between consenting adults is legal.

Bad and Boujee

Their relationship has had high-profile ructions. Following rumors of Offset’s infidelity in 2017, Cardi B said:

“No, it’s not right … But what you want me to do? Start all over again and get cheated on again? This shit happens to everyone.”

The couple stayed together but briefly split in December 2018, with Cardi B saying: “Things just haven’t been working out between us for a long time … we just grew out of love.”

Offset publicly pleaded for a resolution, saying:

“I was partaking in activity that I shouldn’t have been partaking in, and I apologize. For breaking your heart, for breaking our promise, for breaking God’s promise and being a selfish, messed up husband.”

They reconciled in January 2019. But could he “walk it like I talk it?” Their divorce ends one of the highest-profile celebrity relationships in the US. Cardi B is among the world’s most successful and respected rappers – after breaking through in 2017 with US No 1 hit Bodak Yellow she has had three other No 1 singles, more than any other female rapper.

They collaborated with Cardi B on the 2017 single MotorSport. Offset has also released a successful solo album, Father of 4, featuring a hit track, Clout, with Cardi B. He has also guested on US Top 10 hits with Kodak Black and Tyga.

The Guardian article is here.

Photo by Frank Schwichtenberg – Own work.

Divorce Causes in India

Divorce can have many causes, but in India there is a bizarre case going on in which a Muslim woman has sought divorce in an Islamic court from her husband on the grounds that he does not fight with her enough.

India Divorce

The Spice of Life

The unidentified woman in the Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh has sought a divorce from her husband after only 18-months of marital bliss. The woman approached the Sharia court in Sambhal to seek a divorce, leaving the court puzzled.

Why was the court so confused?

The chief complaint from the woman is that her husband loves her too much and does not fight with her. The woman claimed that her husband’s love was ‘suffocating’ her.

“He does not shout at me and neither has he upset me on any issue. He even cooks for me and also helps me in performing household chores.”

She further said, “Whenever I make a mistake, he always forgives me for that. I wanted to argue with him. I do not need a life where the husband agrees to anything.”

The Sharia court cleric, as expected, rejected her plea for divorce, terming it as frivolous. When the Sharia court refused to grant her divorce, the woman took up the matter with the local panchayat (the local self-government in villages in rural India), which also expressed its inability to decide the issue.

Florida No Fault Divorce

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. So, whether your husband is always forgiving of your mistakes, or worse, very agreeable to anything you want, you don’t need to allege that as a grounds for divorce.

I’ve written about divorce and infidelity issues before. The no-fault concept in Florida means you no longer have to prove a reason for the divorce, like your husband’s nice demeanor. Instead, you just need to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Before the no-fault divorce era, people who wanted to get divorce either had to reach agreement in advance with the other spouse that the marriage was over, or throw mud at each other and prove wrongdoing like adultery or abuse.

No-fault laws were 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.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or annoying behavior in a government enforced quarantine.

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.

What do you do if you are trapped in quarantine with someone you want to separate from?

To avoid problems during a quarantine, you may have to force yourself to work together – however difficult that may be.

Couples who are separating or separated already, and are parents, are being forced to work as a team and talk through problems that are making forced quarantine impossible. Reassure each other that you will make it through and work together.

The key if you’re living together is to strike the right balance between having quality intimate time together, or if you’re at the brink of your relationship, giving each other some space.

Divorce Bollywood Style?

Back in India meanwhile, the nice husband has gone on record and stated that he loved his wife dearly and always wanted to keep her happy. He also asked the Sharia Court cleric to reject the divorce plea. Of course.

The court has now asked the couple to resolve the matter mutually.

The Tribune India article is here.

 

Coffee Grounds for Divorce

Coffee used to be grounds for divorce in Turkey after the end of the rule of Sultan Murad IV, who had banned coffee and threw coffee drinkers into the Bosporus. Although Florida is a no-fault state, many people wonder if you still need grounds for divorce.

Coffee Grounds for Divorce

Coffee Talk

Coffee is widely regarded as the second most legally traded commodity after oil in the world today, even though coffee is not technically a commodity since it is fresh produce and its value is directly affected by the length of time it is held.

Coffee, owes its origins as a social beverage to Sufis from Yemen in the 15th century, and then it quickly spread from there throughout the Ottoman Empire. Holding a place of uncertain legality under Islam since its inception, coffee has been alternately banned and blessed depending on the tastes of the ruling government.

During the Ottoman Empire, not even the threat of penalty of death could stop the coffee drinkers of Istanbul. Sultan Murad IV launched his own attack against coffee drinkers as well as tobacco smokers. He brought back the edict about throwing coffee drinkers into the Bosporus and even took it a step further; if he found any soldiers smoking or drinking coffee on the eve of battle, he would execute them or have their limbs.

Coffee was instantly reinstated, along with tobacco use, as soon as this man met his demise. Turkish coffee has been a mainstay of Istanbul ever since to the point where, up until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, being unable to provide coffee for the household was considered sufficient grounds for a woman to divorce her husband.

Florida No Fault Divorce

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.

I’ve written about divorce and infidelity issues before. The no-fault concept in Florida means you no longer have to prove a reason for the divorce, like your husband’s allegedly failure to bring home Starbucks, or preferably, Lavazza. Instead, you just need to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Before the no-fault divorce era, people who wanted to get divorce either had to reach agreement in advance with the other spouse that the marriage was over, or throw hot coffee at each other and prove wrongdoing like adultery or abuse.

No-fault laws were 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.

Another Cup of Joe

A cup of coffee can be more than a beverage–it’s a lifeline. Many people claim that they can’t wake up without their morning cup of coffee, others say that they can’t stop drinking it because caffeine is what keeps them creative.

It is not really known where the history of the coffee begins but there is the world-famous legend about Kaldi, a herdsman from Ethiopia who was the first to discover the effects of the coffee beans. According to the legend, around the year 850 AD Kaldi noticed that whenever his sheep ate the red berries that grew on a particular bush, they became excited and more energetic, to the point that they didn’t sleep at night.

Soon word of the energizing berries spread and caught the interest of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia. They invented a kind of a power bar that was prepared with clarified butter and the berry. It was the food of the warriors and it apparently made them invincible. Energizing bars based on coffee berries are still a common snack in Sidamo and Kaffa.

By the late 15th century coffee had become a common beverage in the Near East, but the Ottoman Turks had mastered the art of it. They prepared the coffee with cinnamon, anise, cardamon, and cloves. And this spicy version is still available in some places in Turkey. It is no wonder that they drink coffee after coffee when they prepare each cup with so much love and attention.

Information about coffee in the Ottoman Empire can be found here.

 

Trapped in a Quarantine Means a Baby Boom or Divorce Boom, and There’s More Good News about the Coronavirus

If you’re feeling trapped, you’re not alone. The forced quarantines and shelter-in-place orders mean couples are spending a lot of time together . . . +maybe too much. That could mean another baby boom, or if China is an example, divorce boom. Plus, there is more good news about the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Divorce Baby Boom

Birth of the “Coronials”

As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Sarah Bradburn’s coronavirus shopping list consists of two very important items: condoms and toilet paper.

“We are all emotional and clinging to our spouses. But when we’re stressed, we just become closer.”

During the first few surreal days of the coronavirus scare, there were predictions far and wide of a huge number of corona babies that would be born in nine months. Maybe they’ll be described as “coronials?”

In fact, Lori Sapio, a Chicago photographer, plans to post a CV19 newborn special in April similar to her Cubs newborn special that she announced after the team won the World Series. But is it really coming? Or will the social distancing and forced time together cause more divorces than babies?

In China — where the coronavirus hit long before it arrived here — the divorce rates rose, and couples formed a line outside a divorce registration office as soon as they were out of quarantine.

The Coronavirus and Divorce

I’ve written about the coronavirus and divorce before. Forced together due to a shelter-in-place order may be the reason for your divorce, but legally you don’t need one. That’s because Florida is a no-fault divorce state.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or annoying behavior in a government enforced quarantine.

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.

What do you do if you are trapped in quarantine with someone you want to separate from?

To avoid problems during a quarantine, you may have to force yourself to work together – however difficult that may be.

Couples who are separating or separated already, and are parents, are being forced to work as a team and talk through problems that are making forced quarantine impossible. Reassure each other that you will make it through and work together.

The key if you’re living together is to strike the right balance between having quality intimate time together, or if you’re at the brink of your relationship, giving each other some space.

Good Coronavirus News

Some good news for all of us. The U.S. Senate passed the largest economic relief bill in American history Wednesday night. By a vote of 96-0, the bill gives help to big and small businesses, health care facilities, and folks who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.

Some key provisions:

Stimulus to the Economy: The bill will pump some $2 trillion into the economy.

Direct payout to Americans: The bill would give one-time direct payments to Americans — $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

There is a phase-out for individuals who made more than $75,000, or married couples who filed jointly who made $150,000.

The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts if you included direct deposit information on your tax form. If you did not, your check will be mailed to you.

Unemployment insurance help: Additional unemployment insurance benefits will be bolstered for four months by increasing the maximum unemployment benefit that a state gives to a person by $600 per week.

Funds for hospitals, equipment: The bill will provide $150 billion for hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Of the $150 billion, $100 billion will go to hospitals and $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service. The other $49 billion will be used to increase medical equipment capacity.

Aid to state and local governments: Around $150 billion will be allocated for state and local governments to pay for the cost of fighting the virus and providing services to those who have the virus.

The Chicago Tribune article is here.

 

When Mama Grizzlies Divorce

Citing “incompatibility of temperament” and that “they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife” Todd Palin filed for divorce from former Alaska governor, one-time vice-presidential candidate, and self-described mama grizzly, Sarah Palin, his wife of 31 years.

Divorce Grizzly Bears

Alaska The New Frontier

In a document filed in Anchorage Superior Court, Todd Palin, 55, asked to dissolve the marriage, citing an “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

The divorce filing uses initials rather than full names, but identifies the couple’s marriage date and the birth date of their only child who is a minor, Trig Palin. The filing asks for joint legal custody of the child.

The Palin family rocketed to national prominence in 2008 when Republican presidential nominee John McCain chose Palin as his vice-presidential candidate, making them household names and focusing the country’s attention on their hometown of Wasilla.

The marriage of the uber mama grizzly, Sarah and her husband Todd, a commercial fisherman, snow machine racer and oil field worker, was frequently on display in TV interviews, reality shows, books and other media appearances.

Florida Divorce

Alaska is a “no fault” divorce state, which allows for divorce on the basis of an “incompatibility of temperament.” This means that even if your spouse is entirely opposed to ending your marriage, you can still request, and receive, a divorce from the Court if you allege what the Palins alleged: “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”

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. 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.

Some people think no fault divorce is one of the main reasons for a high divorce rate. Despite the recent legislative moves around the world to make all divorce no-fault, there is also a counter-movement to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

North to the Future

Since leaving office, Sarah Palin has kept a low profile in Alaska politics, while maintaining a national profile through her books, speaking engagements and social media presence.

The two have been married since 1988 and have five children: Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow and Piper. Todd Palin’s filing asks for shared custody of Trig, who has Down Syndrome. Todd Palin, unlike his famous political wife, has largely steered clear of headlines since she burst on the national scene during 2008 presidential election cycle.

He was in a snowmobile accident in 2016, in which he suffered broken and fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder blade, a broken clavicle, and leg injuries. It was one of the few times the husband made headlines.

The couple’s children have also lived in and out of the spotlight over the years. Track Palin, their eldest son, was sentenced to a year in custody last year after a female acquaintance said he told her that she could not leave his house in Wasilla, took away her phone and then hit her in the head.

In December 2017, Track Palin was accused of breaking into his parents’ home and leaving Todd bleeding from cuts on his head, authorities said. He pleaded guilty in June 2018 to a lesser charge in veterans court.

The couple’s daughter Bristol Palin briefly starred in MTV’s “Teen Mom” franchise but quit the series in April. She said in her announcement that the reality series wasn’t a good fit for her and that “walking away from this show allows God to rebuild me (and my little fam) in the right direction.”

Bristol Palin was 17 when she found out she was pregnant with her son, Tripp, who she had with former fiancé, Levi Johnston. She also has two daughters, Sailor Grace and Atlee Bay, with former husband, Dakota Meyer.

The Anchorage Daily News article is here.

 

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.

 

Fault, Adultery, and Divorce

No-fault divorce has been a part of American law for decades. We forget that the law is not universal. In some countries you have to prove adultery or other fault to divorce. That’s the case in England but the law may change if a new bill passes Parliament.

Adultery DIvorce

Faulty Towers

Under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in England and Wales, anyone seeking divorce must prove fault through adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior.

If both sides agree, they can part after two years of separation. In the absence of consent or evidence of fault, applicants must wait until they have been living apart for five years.

Former Conservative British Member of Parliament and now  Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke, wants to reform the law in England. So far, responses received by the Ministry of Justice showed widespread support for the initiative.

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. 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.

Florida abolished fault as grounds for filing a divorce. Gone are the days when you had to prove adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior as in England.

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.

Adultery can be the cause of a divorce, but can it impact the outcome? Since Florida became a no-fault state, the fact that, “she (or he) is sleeping with a co-worker” doesn’t hold much traction in court any more.

When is adultery relevant in divorce in Florida. Although we are a no-fault state, there is still a statutory basis for infidelity to be an issue in your divorce proceedings, but not as a reason for divorce.

Some people think no fault divorce is one of the main reasons for a high divorce rate. Despite the recent legislative moves in the UK, there is a movement here to return to the old “fault” system to promote families.

Fault Lines

Demands for change mounted after a case was decided last year; a case which I wrote about at the time. The English supreme court ruled last year that a woman could not divorce her husband until a period of five years had elapsed. The Labor Party in England has also supported changing the law, which has remained unaltered for nearly 50 years

No-fault divorce was first introduced by the Family Law Act of 1996, but its provisions were later deemed unworkable and it was repealed. It has been widely supported by prominent members of the judiciary, lawyers and relationship charities.

There should be no law in our society that traps one human being into being married to another when they long to be free of them. That is just another form of slavery.

The Independent 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.