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The Internet Has Transformed Modern Divorce 277

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-lead-billy's-wow-raids-on-tuesdays,-i'll-take-fridays dept.
stern writes "The internet may be contributing to divorces (thanks, Facebook!) but it's also reducing the pain, especially the bitter fighting associated with joint custody. Calendars are now much easier to coordinate, and if one parent denies a court-ordered phone call to another, there's no way to hide the fact that the call didn't happen. Because of these and other technologies, divorce has changed radically in the last ten years. From the article: 'When [one divorcee] requested court-mandated parent counseling, the judge ordered the two to use an online tool called Our Family Wizard instead. Now, lawyers supervise e-mail exchanges between her and her ex, ensuring that each party responds to the other in a timely manner. All e-mails are time dated and tracked. Parents can create a shared expense log and receive automated notices and reminders about parental obligations.'"
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The Internet Has Transformed Modern Divorce

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  • by rainmouse (1784278) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:30PM (#42083745)

    The internet may be contributing to divorces (thanks, Facebook!)

    Or you could instead say that its facilitating the catching of cheating rats.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:50PM (#42083849)

      On the contrary, I think it is far more likely that Facebook will contribute to divorces in cases where cheating is NOT occurring. People who are insecure about their relationships are going to read into EVERYTHING on Facebook. But, generally speaking, people who are actually cheating aren't going to post about it on Facebook.

      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @07:02PM (#42083903) Journal

        People who are insecure about their relationships are going to read into EVERYTHING on Facebook.

        People who are insecure about their relationships are going to read into EVERYTHING.

        Crazy or insecure people will act crazy or insecure.
        Facebook just gives them another playground for their fears to romp around on.

      • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @07:39PM (#42084035)
        Anyone can find a match... even the insecure. Someone that has insecurities needs to find someone that's not going to do things that play into those insecurities. Flirting online, etc... It's all a matter of boundaries. The fact of the matter is, if your mate is unhappy due to any behavior you have, you need to either work it out with them, stop doing it, or end the relationship so they can find someone that wont do those things. Insecurity is relative... could you be married to a pornstar? There are men who are... and they get to know their wives are getting railed by 12 dicks all day long. How about if you're wife is a flirty bar tender? It's between the couple what's cool and what isn't.

        I think the problem with facebook is that its a new phenomenon and it's effect on already existing stable relationships was to reveal behaviors that previously had been something the spouse would never see. So suddenly the dynamics of a 20 year marrige are thrown up in the air. That's a difficult situation. Facebooks effects on newer relationships is the same, though less detrimental because the couple has less time invested. Eventually, as relationships grow with tools like facebook existing from the start, it should have less of a sudden shock that it's had on some relationships that it's new to.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @07:49PM (#42084081)
          Looks like you need a divorce—from pre-formatted text.
        • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:05PM (#42084155) Homepage

          Way to anti-darwinize the situation. But it doesn't quite work that way. A person who would do anything they can to avoid playing into someone else's insecurities is bound to trip up from time to time... even if it is imagined by the other party. "Why didn't you answer the phone?!" "I was pooping..." "Oh yeah...sure... a likely story..."

          Crap like that gets old very very fast. People just need to mature. And people don't mature without cause. No one changes without cause. It's why the "popular kids" in high school end up so weird much of the time -- what they were doing was working for them so they didn't bother to grow or change. Those who struggle continue to grow.

          Easy solution to the facebook problem... don't do it. I don't. It's an obvious trap. MySpace was too. I don't get why people are so addicted to it. "Look at me!! I'm social! I have 1000 very close friends!!!" Do these clowns know how ridiculous they look? (Speaking of which, why the hell does it seem like more than half of the men capable of wearing facial hair have to wear it as a goatee? Shit's getting old man... and looks too much like a pubic mound.)

          -1 troll... I know... I deserve it. Reality isn't nice. There *isn't* someone out there for everyone. That's a ridiculous dream. Presently there are more women than men and women STILL think they are all special and beautiful. Sorry, but no. Just no.

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            If you need to consciously be careful not to play into your spouse's insecurities, maybe you have married the wrong human being. Being married is not supposed to mean you're in prison bounded to do whatever your spouse tells you to and avoid at all cost everything that isn't tolerated.

            If it is your case, you just married someone that wasn't a good match.

            The exception is having married someone whose insecurities changed afterwards. That happens. But usually, unless something big happened, this is within reas

            • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:48PM (#42084561) Homepage Journal

              Yeah - but -

              In a marriage, both parties are supposed to work to understand the other, and to build each other up. Some of my conduct changed when I got married. More of it changed when I became a parent. And, the other half has made changes for me.

              If you're alive, if you're learning and growing, and if you actually care about the other person, you can expect that you're going to change as life goes on. Those who can't or won't change would do just as well to lie down and die.

              That said, you're right. If either one of you is eaten up with jealousy and insecurities, then it was a mistake.

          • by Culture20 (968837)

            Easy solution to the facebook problem... don't do it. I don't. It's an obvious trap. MySpace was too. I don't get why people are so addicted to it. "Look at me!! I'm social! I have 1000 very close friends!!!" Do these clowns know how ridiculous they look?

            Most people are "addicted" to Facebook because their real friends are using it to coordinate events or announce news. Not on Facebook? You missed the party. Not on Facebook? You didn't hear about the passing of your friend's aunt. It's not Facebook that they're addicted to, it's their friends.

          • by chrismcb (983081)

            Easy solution to the facebook problem... don't do it. I don't. It's an obvious trap.

            It is an obvious trap for what? And no, people who use facebook aren't silly. You can stay bitter and old fashioned if you want

            • by erroneus (253617)

              Okay then. Give me lots of your private data... pictures, video, contact information... what IP address(es) do you use and more? BTW, I have public agreements with various companies and governments to share that data without your knowledge or permission but because we don't talk about it, you can pretend it doesn't happen.

              Also, the people you are friends with? Do you really actually talk to them? The Seinfeld bit linked above really spells out the human need behind facebook and the like. People are foo

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:00PM (#42084137) Homepage

        people who are actually cheating aren't going to post about it on Facebook.

        I think you are underestimating how stupid people are.

      • generally speaking, people who are actually cheating aren't going to post about it on Facebook.

        No, but someone else will snap a pic with their phone of them at a party and post it on FB, exposing the fact that they weren't where they said they were. Then some buddy will recognize him/her on the pic and kindly bring it to the attention of the partner. The internet is a small place at times...

      • by Curupira (1899458)

        But, generally speaking, people who are actually cheating aren't going to post about it on Facebook.

        You overestimate the care that other people have with their own privacy. In the last two years, three people close to me (relatives, friends, etc.) had divorced from their significant other. ALL these divorces involved cheating evidence (not suspicious posts, but things like "Hey babe, let's get it on today on your place?") on Facebook. People are simply like that.

    • by vux984 (928602) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:59PM (#42083885)

      Or you could instead say that its facilitating the catching of cheating rats.

      A large number of people do not 'set out to cheat', but if you put them in an environment that facilitates it they may stray in a moment of weakness, often regretted, but which can't be undone.

      If your married and don't want to cheat you should avoid spending a lot of time alone with members of the opposite sex. Period. That includes on facebook.

      Facebook is precisely the sort of place you shouldn't go. The constant bombardment of people you used to know, or sort of know coupled with natural human curiosity, and the false sense of security one has from being 'its only online' I'm safely at home.

      And suddenly your chatting up an ex, and keeping it secret because your spouse would be pissed, and then they want to meet for coffee and you keep that secret too, and besides its just a friend... and they have feelings for you, and its kind of flattering, and you know its wrong but its kind of exciting... and then you've done something you regret.

      And of course the evidence is all over facebook for your spouse to find out about one day when you forgot to logout; if the STD you brought home doesn't give you away first.

      Point reiterated -- a lot of people don't intend to cheat, but if they are in a situation where they end up having a secret relationship with a member of the opposite sex... its definitely going to happen sometimes. And facebook is a prime breeding ground for (re)kindling those sorts of relationships.

      If you want to avoid it, stay off facebook entirely, or have a joint family account instead of a personal one. If your going to tempt fate by chatting with an ex, having your spouse sit in definitely puts a wet blanket on any sparks...

      • by s0nicfreak (615390) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:23PM (#42084237) Homepage Journal
        If you can not control yourself when faced with temptation, you have issues that divorce alone is not going to fix.
        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          If you can not control yourself when faced with temptation, you have issues that divorce alone is not going to fix.

          I'll bite and assume you are one of those guys that can control themselves when faced with temptation. And I have only one question: How's life when you make no mistake and you are not even afraid of ever making one? I am genuinely interested since you seem to be one representative.

          • Why do you assume he's not afraid of making a mistake? He's possibly terrified and sickened of the idea of giving in to temptation, and therefore just doesn't let any situation develop.

            Even when I'm single I tend to get disgusted by women that come onto guys too quickly, because I get the feeling that they are like that with everyone, and therefore any type of relationship with them would be short lived (which isn't what I'm into). When in a relationship I'm even less likely to be open to that type of behav

          • by Windwraith (932426) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:03PM (#42084629)

            Avoiding carnal temptation is not that hard. You just need to stop listening to your penis for a few minutes.

          • by bfandreas (603438)
            If you don't know that you are doing something wrong while cheating I will call you a sociopath.
            If you know you are doing something wrong but you do it anyway I will call you weak willed.
            Ify you forget about your SO while cheating then I will call you an insincere idiot.

            And I will say that calling cheating "a mistake" is a euphemism that has to die.
            Well, jumping out of the 11th floor is a mistake. And since I've never done that and therefore obviously being a person who doesn't make mistakes(employing
          • by Fjandr (66656)

            Life spent being able to choose which impulses to give in to is actually pretty good. Most of the people I know with poor impulse control are complete wrecks in at least one area of their lives, which they otherwise could manage.

            It has nothing to do with not making mistakes, or being unafraid to ever make them. It's still quite possible to make mistakes, they just usually don't result from impulsive choices. Lots of other causes for mistakes abound in life.

        • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @11:53PM (#42085009) Homepage Journal

          If you can not control yourself when faced with temptation, you have issues that divorce alone is not going to fix.

          Utter nonsense.

          Specifically with marital fidelity, it's very common that people who intend to be faithful get too close to another member of the opposite sex, spending so much time with them (at work, for example) that feelings begin to develop, and non-physical intimacy gets gradually greater and greater, to the point that it eventually turns physical. Of course, the infidelity began long before it turned physical, and possibly before either party realized what was happening.

          But the same holds with all sorts of temptation. If you're struggling to control your weight, it's a bad idea to put a big bowl of your favorite candy on your desk. If you're an alcoholic, it's a bad idea to go into a bar. If you used to be addicted to cigarettes, it's a bad idea to hang out with the smokers behind the building.

          Relying solely on self-control when faced repeatedly with the same temptation is pretty much a guaranteed way to fail. It's much smarter to structure your life so that you minimize your exposure to whatever you're trying to avoid.

          A Sunday School teacher explained it to me this way:

          There was a stagecoach owner who needed to hire a new driver. Three men came in to be interviewed. In addition to all of his other questions, the owner asked each of them "How close can you drive to the edge of a cliff without going over?"

          The first responded "I can get so close that the edge of the iron rim lines up exactly with the cliff edge."

          The second said "I can get so close that the half of the rim hangs over the edge."

          The third said "I don't know. I stay as far away from the edge as possible."

          The owner hired the third man.

          If you want to avoid temptation, the very best way to do it is to avoid putting yourself in a position where you might someday be tempted. A wise man told me shortly after I got married that it would be prudent for me to avoid, whenever possible, ever being alone with a woman other than my wife. I've followed that advice, and I've never been even remotely tempted to stray, and I doubt I ever will. Be tempted, I mean. I'm quite certain that I will never be unfaithful.

          • There was a stagecoach owner who needed to hire a new driver. Three men came in to be interviewed. In addition to all of his other questions, the owner asked each of them "How close can you drive to the edge of a cliff without going over?" The first responded "I can get so close that the edge of the iron rim lines up exactly with the cliff edge." The second said "I can get so close that the half of the rim hangs over the edge." The third said "I don't know. I stay as far away from the edge as possible."

      • People choose to cheat. If someone is tempted it means that he or she is not getting their needs met. That is what makes the affair appealing. Not sex, but the feeling of love and intimacy that is lacking. If it were not facebook if someone is miserable they will cheat or leave you anyway. Facebook just means it is easier to get caught.

        We all are human and when times are tough we think back about exes and other people. When things are good in a relationship your desire to flirt to fantasize go down.

        It is pr

        • by drkim (1559875)

          People choose to cheat. If someone is tempted it means that he or she is not getting their needs met. That is what makes the affair appealing.

          Could be, but the difference is that people "not getting their needs met" can still behave honourably, get a divorce, and then look for someone who can meet those needs. Nothing excuses cheating.

      • "And suddenly your chatting up an ex, and keeping it secret because your spouse would be pissed"

        What? "Chatting up" an ex is already cheating. Chatting to an ex is okay. Meeting up for coffee when you know they have feelings - and you apparently are someone with no respect for your partner and/or no self control - is just going full blown retard.

      • but if you put them in an environment that facilitates it they may stray in a moment of weakness,

        Yea, people just "find themselves" in these situations with no idea how it happened?

        Possibly the culprit is not caring enough to avoid the "environment that facilitates it" in the first place.

      • by manu0601 (2221348)

        If your married and don't want to cheat you should avoid spending a lot of time alone with members of the opposite sex. Period...

        Some marriages have been ruined because the husband got bisexual or gay. Just to make sure everything is safe, I think you should recommend the married people abstain spending time with anyone. Mmmmh... pets may be a problem too, you have to address that.

      • by drkim (1559875) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @04:31AM (#42085709)

        ...then they want to meet for coffee and you keep that secret too, and besides its just a friend... and they have feelings for you, and its kind of flattering, and you know its wrong but its kind of exciting... and then you've done something you regret...

        ...not to mention the barista who has to mop up after you.

      • by shokk (187512)

        Just being placed in that situation makes you commit that? What, are you Pavlov's dog? Think for yourself instead of blaming Facebook. You stray in a moment of weakness because you can't say no to being self-destructive. It's in your nature, just by looking at the things you're saying. The Thanksgiving Dinner post below is the most intelligent post for this article. Stop being so jealous, greedy, and possessive.

    • by Tackhead (54550)

      The internet may be contributing to divorces (thanks, Facebook!)

      Or you could instead say that its facilitating the catching of cheating rats.

      The quest giver in the MMORPG says I have to catch 10 rats in order to level up. (Or for the poor saps who work in the industry, the boss says you have to find and ban 10 exploiters before moving off front line support.)

      On the plus side, we gamers never had to worry about divorce because we never even leveled up to dating.

      • The quest giver in the MMORPG says I have to catch 10 rats in order to level up. (Or for the poor saps who work in the industry, the boss says you have to find and ban 10 exploiters before moving off front line support.)

        On the plus side, we gamers never had to worry about divorce because we never even leveled up to dating.

        Besides, gamers who are caught cheating can just do the repeatable flower hand in quest for slow but steady regains of partner faction.

    • by Shavano (2541114) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @10:03PM (#42084627)
      I ain't buying it. Here's why
      1990....2000....2005....2006....2007....2008....2009 (-- Year
      4.7......4.1.......3.6......3.7.......3.6......3.5.......3.4 (-- divorce rate per 1000 in the USA
      source: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/births_deaths_marriages_divorces/marriages_and_divorces.html [census.gov]

      How can you be looking for a common social cause for something that's not happening?

      GOD I hate "common wisdom."

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        But you have to take marriage rates into account, too. From the census site you linked (I only used the last source, 'cause I'm lazy):

        1990: 9.8
        2000: 8.3
        2009: 6.8

        And then, to get a more meaningful number - divorces per marriage - you just divide:

        1990: 4.7 / 9.8 = 0.4796
        2000: 4.1 / 8.3 = 0.4940
        2009: 3.4 / 6.8 = 0.5000

        And while that's hardly a strong trend, it is very much in the opposite direction of what you're claiming.

  • by exabrial (818005)
    Just saying, this was the most depressing thing I've read on Slashdot in awhile. I know it happens to couples, but I guess I was lucky my parents stuck it out.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Why depressing? Its just plain old reality looking us in the face. If people were meant to be monogamous they wouldn't have invented marriage in the first place. Theres a HUGE industry built around it, almost every movie or show you watch is all about dating then marriage, but the fact is if people wanted to stay together they wouldn't need a legally binding contract to ossify the situation. Marriage is a bad idea.

      • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @07:22PM (#42083987) Homepage Journal

        Marriage is a bad idea.

        Twenty-three years into it, I have to say that I disagree. Though I wasn't a likely candidate, marriage (and later, a daughter) is one of the few life choices that I can say was an unqualified success, thanks to my improbable success in finding such a great mate.

        That reminds me, my anniversary is in two weeks, and the old girl wants a tablet computer. I better get to picking out a good one for her.

        If people were meant to be monogamous they wouldn't have invented marriage in the first place.

        "Meant" by whom? That's the great thing about being human: we get to make choices about how we're going to live.

        • So how has the institute of marriage made your life any better? Would not being married have cost you the relationship? I don't mean to pry, in fact don't answer if you don't want to, but for a lot of people, and by a lot I mean the kind of numbers that would have an epidemiologist nuking the city, the result is very different.

          • I'll be honest. I tried marriage once and it was a pretty miserable failure Lost everything of value I owned and truly had to start over from square one, right in what should have been the "prime of my life". On the flip side, I got a great kid out of it -- but trying to justify the marriage as "all worthwhile" for that reason amounts to little more than an attempt to rationalize things. (Marriage, after all, is no true requirement for getting someone pregnant and having a kid.)

            Since that time, I met a g

            • by wmac1 (2478314)

              In most countries you will still be considered married or at least more than simple friends (since you have lived together for sometimes) , and your partner legally has most of the rights of a married woman.

              • Common Law Marriage
                In Alabama you are considered married if you live together for more than 3 years.
                or
                You claim to be married, like checking into a motel as a married couple, or having your own wedding ceremony.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            So how has the institute of marriage made your life any better?

            I've thought about that a lot. Being "officially" married conveys a level of commitment that goes beyond convenience or just "we're together because we're together" and provides a level of social/legal recognition of the union. There may well be other ways to achieve this, but in our culture we would still call it "married". I don't care about the piece of paper or the legal framework so much as the depth of commitment they represent. We di

        • by timeOday (582209)
          I am 16 years into my marriage, and can say without question that it is good. But I am not so sure about the leap from "my marriage is good," to "marriage is good." After all, I've been at the same company for 12 years and in the same home for 10. Maybe I'm just an inherently stable, some would say boring type of guy. How can any of us know what it's like inside somebody else's mind?
          • by wmac1 (2478314)

            I was feeling the same after 8 years in marriage when things suddenly crashed.

            I thought we have a stable and good life. Then I found my ex did not think the same. She thought our life is boring and monotonous. That's why she looked around to find something.

        • by tftp (111690)

          I have to say that I disagree [...] thanks to my improbable success in finding such a great mate.

          If your success is so improbable then a good advice to everyone would be to not marry. Too few would be lucky to meet their ideal match.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            If your success is so improbable then a good advice to everyone would be to not marry.

            My success was improbable because of the mismatch between me and my wife in intelligence/attractiveness/sanity.

            My grandfather used to say, "For every funny foot, there's a funny shoe" and the older I get the more I realize he was seldom wrong about stuff.

            And, I'm not sure finding an "ideal" match is what I'm talking about. I could come up with some "ideal" that does not or may not exist. This is about "right" not "perfec

        • by Maow (620678)

          Marriage is a bad idea.

          Twenty-three years into it, I have to say that I disagree. Though I wasn't a likely candidate, marriage (and later, a daughter) is one of the few life choices that I can say was an unqualified success, thanks to my improbable success in finding such a great mate.

          That reminds me, my anniversary is in two weeks, and the old girl wants a tablet computer. I better get to picking out a good one for her.

          Hot damn, congrats to you, Pope! Get her something nice!

      • My parents have been married for over 50yrs, I was married for 20yrs. Staying together, or not, has fuck all to do with a "legally binding contract" or the "marriage industry". Those things arose because people were doing them long before they were cast as laws, the marriage contract is about property and kids, staying together is about having a partner in life/crime.
        • Great! If you weren't married, would you have stuck together? If so, why get married, minor tax advantages aside? Sure it served a purpose once as far as child support goes, but the law has pretty much caught up in most developed countries.

          • You might as well ask why people celebrate birthdays or other annual holidays. People love to celebrate and party. Weddings existed before taxes did. They're meant to be a celebration of union. A symbol of commitment. Though that's obviously becoming a bit of a joke these days.

            They're not always based purely on love, depending on the culture, of course. But even if there were no tax advantages or whatever, people would still get married.

          • by j-beda (85386)

            Great! If you weren't married, would you have stuck together? If so, why get married, minor tax advantages aside? Sure it served a purpose once as far as child support goes, but the law has pretty much caught up in most developed countries.

            In theory at least, there can be tremendous advantages to having a partner that you can depend on to share various tasks and responsibilities, and making that partnership somewhat difficult to dissolve on a whim can make the partnership more valuable. There are a variety of tasks that can be done more efficiently in such a partnership than singly - making meals for example can be done by one person and consumed by two (or more) with only marginal increase in the labour of the meal-maker. Pooled resources c

            • by Fjandr (66656)

              I don't think anyone is questioning the advantages of the relationship. What's being questioned is the advantage of the contract.

              In my relationship we have all those advantages, and don't miss any of the few additional ones which would come from a marriage contract. The only intrinsic one is medical decisions, and that's solved with a living will and advanced directives.

    • by OldSport (2677879)

      Although it has sucked to be the son of a divorced couple, it's far better for me that they divorced when they did and find happiness separately than stay together, be miserable, and create a dysfunctional situation.

      The parents of a friend of mine divorced as soon as he (the youngest sibling) graduated high school and left home. So in addition to the usual complicated feelings when your parents divorce, he was saddled with the extra guilt of feeling like he had forced his parents to stay together in misery

    • by wmac1 (2478314)

      My ex. wife of 10 years used to find friends on social network websites, talk to them for a while as a friend and go out with them. She cheated a few times and finally left with one of them.

      When she came to my home, she did not have even a high school diploma (and no intention to study). She was the typical Penny (of Big bang theory), and I guess I was the Leonard, except when she left she was a PhD candidate.

      She left and married with a guy much older than me (10.5 years older than her) which had a high sch

  • ...you really have to think of the children.

    Anything else suggested in order to curb free speech to "protect" the children is stupid and whoever came up with those ideas should be hung by sunset.
    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:59PM (#42083889)
      No, if you have chosen to reproduce, "think of the kids" should be your first consideration. But only for people who are parents.

      As a reason to abridge the rights of the public, many of whom have not chosen the responsibility of having kids, you're right, fuck that in the ear with a rusty railroad spike. And I say that as a parent: if my kid accesses images of bestiality or whatever you're into and is scarred by it, that's my fault. You can watch all the depraved videos you want, and put them on whatever websites you want. You can take whatever privacy measures you want even if it means that law enforcement would be unable to make sure you're not transmitting illegal material. If law enforcement has no good reason to think you're doing something illegal, then you should be free to be as secretive as you want. Anyone who says otherwise is an asshole. "Think of the children" has no place in such discussions, except to mark very stupid people who should not be allowed to vote in a country that claims to be the land of liberty.

      It's just that assholes who want to increase the government's powers find it useful to use that line the wrong way. Using it to remind parents that they have greater responsibilities is not as useful. That's why typically when you hear it, it's with a bad idea, it's not an inherently evil idea in and of itself. In divorce cases, it can be quite the opposite. If you're upset at your ex-spouse, you really need to put that aside for the children and act like an adult.
  • by rueger (210566) * on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:56PM (#42083869) Homepage
    Yes! At the same time that lawyers and courts have discovered on-line calendars, many offices have adopted word processors instead of using IBM Selectrics!

    Seriously, this is hardly news. What has changed in divorce is that most jurisdictions have abandoned most of the moralistic old garbage surrounding it, and now make it (reasonably) painless for intelligent adults to dissolve a marriage. Even when there are kids.

    Not that there aren't still enough idiots out there to keep the lawyers busy.....
  • Unfortunately .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:59PM (#42083883)

    I'm a divorced parent myself, and I found myself at least partially agreeing with one of the people who commented on the original article on the NYT web site. He said he doesn't understand America's insistence on joint custody and co-parenting with these toxic relationships that end in messy divorces.

    I can't speak for the accuracy of his claim that in "other cultures", it's usually a winner take all scenario where one parent walks away and disappears, and the other steps up to raise the kid. But I definitely think there are times when this really is the best outcome for the kid.

    It seems like we've made an automatic assumption that it's universally best for the kid(s) to spend as much time as possible with both parents, and on the surface such a suggestion sounds plausible. But not all marriages end simply because both people were immature and foolishly got married too quickly. Many times, one parent has a drug or alcohol addiction and becomes unbearable to live with. Other times, like in my own situation, the other parent suffers from mental illness (and contrary to what you may hear - medications for such things as bipolar disorder don't ever fully bring some people back into reality).

    Our court systems essentially force these unfit parents to pretend they're able and willing to parent anyway, and the kid(s) pay the price.

    I'm not against the idea of using tools like texting or email, or even some sort of moderated message system, if it helps parents work through the details of sharing custody in cases where it's the situation they're both striving for anyway. But I literally had my ex-wife tell the attorneys she was perfectly happy to sign all of her parental rights away. Yet the Family Court judge declared such a thing unacceptable, and made us come up with a shared custody arrangement instead. Something really is wrong with a legal system that believes they made a "better choice" by doing this. My ex moved to the other side of the country with some younger guy and only came to visit our daughter a total of 2 times in 10 years since then. She has a very small child support obligation she practically never pays, which has built up over time to total up to close to $20,000 so far. Reality is, my current g/f and I are raising my daughter -- not my ex-wife. And it would be foolish to ask her to make any kind of important legal decision on my kid's behalf since she practically has no idea about who she is and her needs anyway.

    I suppose I could fork out the money to go back to court and fight to get full custody, and at this point, they'd probably grant it based on a decade of evidence of how things went.... but it's VERY irritating on principle that this could have been settled from the beginning when SHE said she wanted no part of being a mom during the divorce proceedings.

    • Very self centered too I may add. Sorry bro.

      At least you are responsible enough to care and do what is right. You could probably nail her on child support costs too. I know the idea is not be mean or get back at your exwife but kids are certainly not cheap and I do not know what you do when kids have early release every Tuesday or spring break and you have to work. She should contribute something and a full custody can get you some more child support payments so you can get a bigger house for them, food, an

      • Speaking from personal experience, if she doesn't work, $5 a week is just not worth the effort.
        • Personal experience?!

          You know what happens if you do not work and chid support is due? A judge throws your ass in jail! Sounds like you had a judge who favored her (probably another woman) or you had a bad lawyer.

          The court will give a 1 month 30 day extension to find a job and throw her ass in prison otherwise. Child abandament is a serious crime as the kid has to eat regardless. If the situation were reverse your ass would be in the slammer fast because you are a man and are supposed to be a provider. I do

    • You list some reasons why my ex-wife and I avoided court, it was a very bitter split but at least we both had the good sense to sort it out privately via a family lawyer we both trusted. If you choose to go to court then you're asking the authorities to impose a solution that quite possibly neither of you will like. As an example of what that does to a person, a friend of mine who went the court route came into work one day, his eyes were dead, he sat down and dialed the family court, "Ah, hello. Can you pu
    • by shoemilk (1008173)

      I can't speak for the accuracy of his claim that in "other cultures", it's usually a winner take all scenario where one parent walks away and disappears, and the other steps up to raise the kid. But I definitely think there are times when this really is the best outcome for the kid.

      As an American living and abiding by one of those "other cultures" let me just say no. NO! NO! NO! Japan is one of those other cultures. There is no concept here of joint custody. A good friend of mine hasn't seen his boys in three years now, despite desperately wanting to. His ex-wife's psycho parents agreed with you that letting him see his children would "confuse" them, thus they told their daughter to move and not tell him where and refuse to divulge the information. He has no legal recourse.

      Unless the

  • easier to ignore their lies and find the actual truth.

  • Heck, I have karma to burn. Mod me troll, but as a homosexual, I'm flabbergasted about what part of "until death do we part" straight folks are missing about this whole deal.

    Add in kids, and I really don't get it. I must be weird or something for not sleeping with everything I have a chance with and not cheating when I am sleeping with someone.

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