It is over.

Despite a decline in the rate, these words are being spoken every year between husbands and wives (and even homosexual married couples). The grim statistic of 50% is a myth, but divorce is a reality.

Study Harder

English: Marriage and divorce rates in the US,...

Rates of Marriage & Divorce in US through 2009

Couples, who have college degrees and get married after age 26, have the best chance of staying together more than 20 years (only a 19% divorce rate). If married before 26, educated couples have a 65% shot of seeing the China wedding anniversary (35% divorce rate).

Hardened by Adversity

Fewer couples get married in depressed economic times. The going theory is they have no money for weddings. The ones who do get married in tough times stay married longer because they are more dedicated to the union despite the hardships a wedding may create.

Bringing up (?) the Curve

Those without a college degree are the ones getting divorced at 49%. These couples are the ones more likely to split when the economic impact affects the children.  No matter your math skills, it is impossible to get to the mythical “50% of marriages end in divorce”.

A Sticky Wicket

Even if we only had to discuss one, divorce is a complicated matter. Most divorcees admit they did not go through a thorough screening process before they married. Without the proper foundation, the marriage crumbled eventually leading to divorce and taking with it fragments of jobs, savings, homes, cars and children’s lives.

Big Business

English: Dollar/Peso sign (not a symbol of the...

The decline in divorce statistics has not truly affected the pay rate for attorneys, who are the only winners when it comes to divorce…because they are making up to $500 per hour to undo your I do, even when times are tough. Even DIY divorces can cost up to $1,000, depending on jurisdiction.

It is not about the money…yet.

Before we get to the dollars and (the lack of) cents of divorce, we are going to discuss the most valuable assets: The children. Wait. Before you happily married Mates scroll away… Chances are good you know someone who will be divorcing in the next five years. What you may learn may change the life of a child. Keep reading.

 Open Letter to Divorcing Couples:

Attention Adults:

Rita and John's Marriage Certificate

Marriage License

I refer to you as adults because before you were issued a marriage license, you had to prove you were above the age of consent. In my book, you are going to be required, henceforth, to act as though you are an adult.

The user guide, as well as the marriage vows you recited, is rife with instances of the legal phrase It is not about you. From this part forward, you will be bound by that verbiage.

During the pendency of your vinculo matrimonii, you will conduct yourself in a ladylike or gentlemanly fashion at all times. You will do it for the sake of your children, families and friends, who did not choose this path. You will not embody the attorney’s inside look at divorcing law:

Criminal law is about bad people trying to behave their best, at least in court; and divorce law, is good people at their worst.”

I am logical enough to comprehend the reason you are divorcing is a failure to see eye-to-eye on topics as diverse as laundry, retirement, sandwich night, fidelity, football and career choices. In this diversity, you will embrace one simple commonality: You want a divorce.

Until the judgment (and throughout any post judgment proceedings relevant to property settlement or children), you will focus on the common ground you both share. During what is likely to be the last interest you ever willingly share, you are expected to work toward the goal of divorce without acrimony, violence, antipathy, property destruction, malevolence, slander, acerbity, mordancy or contempt.

All of these behaviors should be addressed with appropriate mental health care professionals, divorce support groups and the individual friends you have chosen as your personal property settlement. You must refrain from using such friends as tools, weapons, spies or reconnaissance sources, as they were not party to the marriage in the first part nor instrumental in its demise in the second part (infidelity notwithstanding).

You will follow the guidelines set forth over this course and emerge in the end a whole person, not having sacrificed part of your soul, or that of your children, to the altar of divorce.

For your cooperation, in advance I thank you.

Do you know someone going through or preparing for a divorce? Are children involved? Would you like information on how to help without being entangled? (Please do not use names, even if you are speaking of your own divorce.)

© Red Dwyer 2011
Reblogging of this or any other post on The M3 Blog is expressly forbidden.
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  1. I love what you said about not using friends. So many people do that and it’s crazy how friends seem to be property that has to be split in the divorce.
    I do know someone going through a horribly messy and mean divorce. What’s said is….it doesn’t have to be. Neither party wants anything from each other financially, but is out for emotional revenge.

    • *shakes head* Why can we not just be adult enough to say, “It did not work out. Best of luck in finding what will make you happy.”?

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