Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The pain of divorce ...

... isn't only felt by women - though Miss Mellifluous writes not only movingly but instructively. (HT Amanda). That's about the third time in the last few months that Genesis 15 has been brought to my attention.

A male acquaintance was recently told by his wife that she wants a divorce. I report this not to embarrass anyone or prejudice any legal process - neither party knows about this blog - but because it is typical of what is happening today. There are no other adults involved, apparently, but they do have children. She is not interested in counselling - she says she is doing this "for herself" - but, as my acquaintance points out, the whole point about the wedding vows is that you forego your future right to do things primarily "for yourself". She has said she doesn't want him to come back home. To what is his home as well, it should be pointed out - though the solicitor said that in such cases, "possession is nine tenths of the law".

To add financial insult to injury, in the divorce papers, she has claimed a large proportion of their assets - presumably because she expects custody of the children - and the legal advice my acquaintance has received is she can expect to get most of them. So she has chosen to walk away from a promise that she freely gave, and she can expect to benefit substantially from this.

It is frustration with this, and the helplessness that many men feel in the face of the family law system, that has led to the establishing of groups like Fathers 4 Justice. They may not be changing the world, but they are at least showing the world their frustration, and highlighting the unreasonableness of the system.