No-Fault Divorce: A National Catastrophe
- Friday, July 21, 2006
This is what was most surprising to me; the constitutionality or lack thereof related to No-fault divorce. A retired Circuit Court judge writes, "To the characterization of No-fault divorce laws as both ungodly and inhumane I would add unconstitutional as well." Attorney Sharpe was confident that if a case involving No-fault divorce was ever brought before the U.S. Supreme Court it would no doubt be ruled unconstitutional and No-fault divorce abolished.
One of the principal protections afforded in the U.S. Constitution is the right to Due Process. Due Process encompasses the rules and principles for our legal system for the enforcement and protection of private rights. It gives the right to be heard regarding issues of life, liberty, or property. This means that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, property or of any right granted him by statute, unless the matter involved is first adjudicated or ruled against him at trial.
No-fault divorce completely usurps the defendant's right to Due Process. In the case of my other guest, Judith Brumbaugh, her husband of twenty years had an adulterous affair, formed a relationship with the other woman and decided that he no longer wanted to be married. Under the No-fault procedure he was able to file for divorce claiming that their marriage was "irretrievably broken." Judith contested this claim hoping to preserve her marriage however the No-fault procedure ultimately gave her husband and the Court the right to deny her Due Process. She was in essence charged with a crime, found guilty and sentenced without ever being heard. The marriage contract was unilaterally dissolved.
Judith lost her home, her children and her husband; she was left nearly destitute from legal expenses and utterly without recourse - an act which is legally impossible related to every other contractual obligation in this country. And yet in the most important contractual obligation in society the plaintiff, under No-fault divorce, is able to break his or her contractual obligation without the right of Due Process being given to the other party in the contract. The defendant's life can be ruined, their liberty restrained in countless ways and their property taken away by the Courts.
This is a travesty of justice that affects more than a million families each and every year with an annual related cost to taxpayers of more than $48 billion. This, of course, doesn't even begin to consider the secondary societal effects of family dissolution, so easily achieved, upon crime rates, welfare rolls, as well as the emotional and psychological effects upon the children of divorce. No-fault divorce has created an easy divorce culture which according to Maggie Gallagher "demotes marriage from a binding relation into something best described as cohabitation with insurance benefits."
No-fault divorce is both a social and legal atrocity that needs to be abolished for the sake of families and children that have, for too long, been subjected to the tyrannical actions of family courts and has encouraged, through law, radical selfishness on the part of narcissistic spouses and parents.
This article originally posted in July 2006. Copyright S. Michael Craven 2006
Comment on this article here
You can listen to this message online here
Subscribe to the free Weekly podcast here
S. Michael Craven is the Founding Director of the Center for Christ & Culture, a ministry of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. The Center for Christ & Culture is dedicated to renewal within the Church and works to equip Christians with an intelligent and thoroughly Christian approach to matters of culture in order to recapture and demonstrate the relevance of Christianity to all of life. For more information on the Center for Christ & Culture, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit: www.battlefortruth.org.
Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.
Recently on Marriage
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content