Monday, February 23, 2009

The Nuts And Bolts Of It

Terms like "irretrievable breakdown" never come to mind, do they? Not for those of us who don't normally speak in that way.

Makes you think.

I suppose that is the entire reason behind the use of those words in a divorce petition.

"Item Number 6: There has been an irretrievable breakdown of my marriage relationship with Respondent and the marriage cannot be saved."

It is heavy, to be sure, but lacks the dramatic flair of "I felt like I was dying..."

Why is it that they let you write your own marriage vows, but not your own divorce "vows"? We are such hypocrites. You get married and everybody is all about the bliss and the happiness. Your friends, family, and the nation all stand by their notion that it about the love and making babies and that somehow, some way, being in love and who you love is the only thing you need concern yourself with when you get married.

Perhaps, if everybody look at it in the cold starkness of the business and assets and legal partnership aspect of it, the way we look at divorce, then there wouldn't be such a freak-out over gay people getting married.

After all, marriage, legally, has nothing to do with love, or who you love. For proof of that, I offer up the 30-page legal document about my marriage that I am looking at right now. The word "love" is not mentioned, even once, in this divorce petition. I suppose I could write it somewhere in the Additional Comments section, but frankly, it seems out of place. In fact, if you look at this document, there is something quite striking about it: You're never asked "why"? It doesn't even allow for the insertion of an explanation after Item Number 6.

So, why is it that we can't write our own divorce "vows"? Why is getting married so damn easy (for heterosexuals) and divorce comes with an implied "Are you SURE you want to do this?" level of legalese that makes you realize, oh, by the way, that this is a SERIOUS legal contract you are trying to get out of. Why is it that the law wants you to think so hard about getting divorced, but not about getting married? Hardly anybody ever asks you if you're SURE you want to get married...and even if they do, what do we say? What do we ALL say? We say, "But I really, really love him/her." And for some reason, everyone is OK with that--you need say nothing more. Incredibly stupid.

What if we had to fill out 30 pages of cold, hard, financial information and have it notarized BEFORE we were allowed to marry? Wouldn't that make more sense? Because I'm filling out that information right now, and I must tell you that the fact that I can't actually tell you how much money my husband makes in a year has me a little weirded out--not because I give a shit how much money he makes in a year, but because I can't believe that, all of a sudden, its important to somebody. When we were getting married, nobody asked. Why not? If its so damn important that I know this, why was I not required to know this going in?

If its really about love, and who you love or why you love them, or what bonds you together, then why is there no place on this petition for divorce, this legal document, for me to list all of the stupid shit that happened to break that bond?


  1. I am so TOTALLY into the notion of writing my own petition for divorce! What a great idea!

    The language is so cold and completly lacks any force behind it.

    How about, "I want to seek a divorce because my husband exposed my nine year old to pornography, asked her to suck his cock, and ejaculated all over her for three years straight."

    Yeah, I suppose if I continued on with it, my petition would be about 60 pages.

  2. I would LOOOOOOVE to be able to say the actual reasons! I wish somebody actually read those documents and put people in jail when appropriate. The crap that goes on...they have no idea. I mean, why protect them? Why?


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