Just in time for Valentine's Day, the New York Times has published a profile on a new online divorce service founded by Angelina Jolie's divorce attorney. And we all know it's not a trend until someone does a story on it for The Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/style/can-you-get-divorced-online.html
The new website is called "It's over easy" and offers divorce on line for a starting fee of $750. Whether you think that's the best business idea since Amazon or a sign that God's judgement must surely be nigh depends on your religious view of marriage and just how badly your own spouse is starting to annoy you right now.
Naturally, the Washington Examiner considers it an omen for The End Times and blames this whole trend on the emergence of No-Fault divorce laws started in the 70's (and signed into law by Ronald Reagan no less.) http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/new-york-times-runs-glowing-profile-of-internet-divorce-service/article/2648289
I have to admit that my first reaction was "Why didn't somebody tell me about this thing 2 months ago?" That's because I came home from work 2 weeks before Christmas to find that my husband had his bags packed, his car loaded and had already filed for divorce. It was quite a gut punch. Now we're paying lawyers $300 an hour to divide what it took us 10 years of marriage to amass.
Sadly, as someone going through this process for the second time, I've developed an appreciation for No-Fault divorce laws. The truth is, there's no such thing as a "no fault" divorce. It's always SOMEBODY'S fault. It's HIS fault. No, seriously. Both parties have to share the blame when a marriage disintegrates. And sadly, you can't force a spouse to remain in a marriage if he doesn't want to. You can always find grounds for divorce. No-Fault deprives you of the incentive to do so. If the state will basically let anyone out at any time for any reason and divide the marital property 50/50, you can spare your friends and family (and especially your children) of the spectacle of a divorce trial. No need to hire a private investigator to tail him or bring witnesses to testify against her.
But many conservatives who wish to preserve the sanctity of marriage think we should make divorce harder. I disagree. Getting divorced shouldn't be harder. Getting MARRIED should be harder! My church started what I think is one of the greatest ideas of all time with "pre-engagement" counseling. So, before he buys a ring and she buys a dress and you tell all your friends and reserve a reception hall, the pastor goes over everything from your finances to your expectations for children. Quite frankly, any Christian pastor that performs a wedding without pre-marital counseling is neglecting his spiritual duties.
I also have a few modest proposals that would help lower the divorce rate:
Outlaw big weddings: How many times have you seen a young couple blow $50K on a wedding only to end up divorced 6 months later? That's because it's harder to call off a wedding after all that planning and money. And let's be honest: a lot of people (OK, women) are more interested in having a wedding than having a marriage. So, ban all those bridal magazines, forbid registries for presents and shut down the wedding industrial complex. You want to get married? Fine. The pastor will conduct all future ceremonies in his office. You can bring your parents, siblings and one friend. Maybe all have lunch at McDonalds when it's over. No rings, no gifts, no open bar. See how many people still want to get married after that. (Bonus: this will put an end to lawsuits against Christian bakers, florists and photographers who don't want to provide service to gay weddings.)
Cancel "The Bachelor:" How this show has stayed on the air this long is beyond me. But how can you expect anyone to respect the sanctity of marriage if it's given away as a prize on a game show?
Quit keeping up with the Kardashians: No explanation needed.
Get rid of Facebook: Social media has caused more divorces than strip clubs and casinos combined. Nothing to stir up marital discord like seeing all your friends and THEIR perfect husbands. Also allows easy access to all past boyfriends and secret crushes.
Ban the internet altogether: No more dating sites, sites for married people looking for affairs or online divorce options allowed. Problem solved.
Mandatory in-law relocation: No married couple should have to reside within a thousand mile radius of any in-laws (Just kidding. And for the record: I LOVE my in-laws. I'm asking for custody of them in the divorce.)
Clearly I'm just joking here (except the part about "The Bachelor." That show needs to go.) In a world where one's personal satisfaction is valued over commitment to others, it's no surprise that divorce is skyrocketing. Is a divorce website a good idea? Probably not. But I've known couples who had to wait for years to get divorced because of lack of money. The delays didn't deter them. And the only thing ending no-fault divorce will do is give the aggrieved partner a better financial bargaining chip.
So, instead of making divorce harder, maybe we need to focus on making marriage better. That's something no government program can do. Maybe someone can start a new website for it.