Comments: Why Do People Get Married? (And Why Do They Get Divorced?)

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Danny , Calgary AB  dannyng@a-l-r.ca     11/25/10
As low as 5% of all my divorce clients would start their mediation with a clear focus on what they could agree with each other to protect their children from the collateral damage of their divorce. That, in my opinion, relates to the strong urge of the rest of the divorce population to settle their score when at least one party feels being trapped & has made sacrifices in their marriage for various reasons. To many if not all divorcees, the court is a place to bring their personal battles in their unhappy marriage into a public open field for war. While the legal system strives to bring old values into our modern ages to protect the disadvantaged party when the line to distinguish whose should be protected is blurred, I would not venture into whether the couple would feel that they have a fair resolution with your proposal of having a menu to check off at the time of their marriage. I can, however, see the merits of the idea but just feel inadequate on my end to proof it. Love is blind & as much as it is a cliche, it stills plays an important role in decision making about marriage in the majority of different cultures all over the world. Rather to reduce marriage to a rational business transaction (the current legal process actually resembles marriage to an accummulated process of transactions to dictate the level of "remedies" already), why not revolutionize how divorce could be managed differently in the future world? To resolve satisfactorily & completely the complicated & conflicting human values in divorce when two lives decide to separate & to dismantle a previously tightly woven world (where children may or may be involved) is proved to be impractical or unattainable throughout the long history of marriage & divorce. Therefore, let's attempt to strive for the essence of the spirit of protection. Whether the husband or wife is innocent or not, again it is less relevant(notion of no fault divorce). What is relevant is the availability of a fair or significant compensation to, not one party, but probably to both, and children as well. I propose a simple insurance for separation. All married couples need to be insured, by law. Using today's terms, whenever two people choose to live together, sharing the majority of their lives together under one roof qualify, that insurance would kick in. A scale of premiums would be set & varies against their individual or total income. The premium would increase hand in hand with the number of "separation" incident in the history of that individual. In that case, even most difficult divorce cases today would probably vanish from the court. The beauty of that remains, mediation would be welcomed by almost all divorce couples, to deal with unmet desires to settle the emotional baggage, as well as parenting arrangement for those with children. You can also imagine, by that time, comtemplating divorce will become a matter of a rational deliberation process prior to making a claim or not. It could be disadvantage to some but not to others. The desirable impact of such a system is that all parties that are meant to be protected will be protected, without a war between the divorvcees. But lawsuits filing against the insurance institutions may become another bomb to the legal system. However, that becomes outside our field of interests anyway. (Disclaimer: all above is just a random thought, not necessarily inspired entirely by this article but would not exlude the chance of it.)