Monday, May 8, 2017

All of Illinois is losing "custody."

Tuilleries garden, Paris.


     The statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce is a dusty pre-sexual revolution relic. Demanding people to get married before they canoodle led to unwise, short-lived marriages. With couples getting married at older, more discerning ages, now only about a third of marriages fall apart.
     Still a lot.
     Despite the significance of divorce, I avoid the topic. Probably because it usually arrives at my doorstep in the form of an unhappy, divorcing spouse laying out his — it’s invariably a guy — tale of woe. I explain the need to present the other side, which surprises him, and he lets the matter drop. Just as well, because each divorce is unique if not strange, sad and petty, and so complicated it’s not worth the space to explain.
     Drew Vaughn is not a divorcing spouse, however, but a divorce attorney. He contacted me with actual news — news to me, anyway — that Illinois divorce law is going through a multiyear overhauling, and July 1 two key elements are changing —
custody and child support — and not for the better, according to him.
     “Good in concept, awful in practice,” he wrote in an email. “This new law intends to make people believe it is more fair by considering the income of both spouses. Unfortunately, I expect that this will incentivize parenting schedules built around financial concerns and not what’s best for the children.”
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5 comments:

  1. Avoiding the topic might have been wise, as I find myself not much enlightened. But then I reside beyond the fray, having acquired my one and only wife some years ago and with no expectation of another. She evidently sensed at the outset that emending my considerable assemblage of bad habits would be the work of a lifetime and took on the assignment anyway.

    Tom

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  2. Having been tangentially involved in the divorce industry some years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed your exposition of the various viewpoints of the latest changes to Illinois divorce laws. Glad to hear that divorces are down, probably because marriages are not only later, but probably fewer.

    john

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  3. Your theory that divorces were high because people were socially prohibited from having sex unless they entered into (sometimes unwise) marriages is interesting. I've always thought that the divorce rate peaked because women were more accepted in the workplace and could earn more money, thus freeing them from dependence on husbands they no longer wanted.

    Nearly all outrages against women, from (still) lower pay to restrictions on abortion to genital mutilation, are rooted in a desire to restrict and deny them the freedom to choose and reject potential mates IMO.

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  4. The reasons are no doubt multiple, going beyond sex. And going back some way, with the WW II mobilization of females into the workforce a factor. As Thurber put the matter some 60 years ago "everywhere man loses ground while woman advances. The dog seems to be holding its own."

    That said, a certain biological intervention did serve to give the ladies, if not the upper hand, at least more of a say in carnal matters. In Phillip Larkin's masterful, if somewhat rueful, exposition of the subject, it happened "in 1963 (which was rather late for me)"

    Tom

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  5. And divorce is more acceptable in the last generation, than it used to be.

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