|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.”