Tag: sacrifice

What would happen if there were no alimony or splitting assets in divorce without kids?

That is an interesting question. Before I answer it, know this: anyone who is motivated to marry on a “what’s in it for me?” basis and who stays married motivated by a “what’s in it for me?” basis is likely to be unhappy in his/her marriage and likely will end up divorced. Marriage success and happiness depends upon the couple’s mutual devotion to each other, to the family they make together, and placing the interests of their marriage and family ahead of their own, individual self-interest.

Here is what I believe would happen if there were no more alimony or splitting of assets in divorce proceedings when a married couple has no children:

  • the desire for certain women to marry would plummet. Why? It’s politically incorrect to state the following, but it is no less true: many women (not all) marry so that their husbands (and now, in the case of lesbian couples, their wives) will provide for them (and only for them, not for children the couple may have) financially. If this kind of woman (i.e., a woman who relied on her spouse financially) knew that she would get no alimony upon divorce and wouldn’t get half of the funds the spouse saved and half of the retirement funds the spouse accrued during the marriage, there is a certain kind of woman who would not marry.
    • Do not misunderstand me: a woman (or man) who foregoes pursuing a career so that the couple can have children and rear a family together in the best possible conditions, with one parent staying home to care for the children instead of working outside the home, is a spouse who, if she/he has lived up to that commitment, deserves alimony if the marriage ends in divorce. The traditional family, i.e., where the children have a stay at home parent, is the optimal way to rear children who will be themselves physically and mental healthy, decent, productive adults. Some families cannot afford to have a parent stay at home. There is no shame in that. But when both spouses work even though they both don’t need to work, and where such spouses have children and warehouse those kids in daycare, they are doing themselves and their children a disservice that cannot be compensated for.
  • the desire for a percentage of heterosexual men to marry would increase. Many such men have seen their fellow male friends and family members financially ruined by alimony and by losing so much of what they worked so hard for in divorce. This causes many men to fear and avoid marriage to a woman out of concern that divorce will ruin them. Many husbands of childless couples who knew that their wives would not profit from divorce would not fear divorce nearly as much as they do now.
    • Do not misunderstand me: there are many men who are devoted to their wives and children. Their wives and family are a labor of love for whom them willingly and gladly sacrifice their time, effort, and income. There are many decent men, however, whose wives are not themselves decent people who are equally devoted to their husbands and families. Men who marry gold diggers are justifiably upset when the gold diggers try to profit from divorce.

Now if, after you read this answer in its entirety, you conclude that “marriage is for suckers,” you have missed the point completely.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Have you ever thought someone was making a mistake by getting a divorce?

Many a time.

I am a divorce lawyer, but I wouldn’t wish divorce upon anyone except those who need to divorce to escape abuse, cruelty and other truly unbearable circumstances, and betrayal (if trust is irreparably broken).

Some people need to divorce. It’s good that the option for divorce exists for their protection.

Others who think divorce is the solution to their problem(s) are sadly mistaken. For these people divorce does not solve any problem and just creates a host of new problems.

Most people who divorce didn’t need to. If they would work on bettering themselves (both of them trying to be the kind of spouse they want and need) and then turn their attention to bettering the marriage, most marriages could be happy ones. Not perfect ones (there is no such thing), but happy, worthwhile marriages. This takes effort and sacrifice, and patience and trial and error, but the results are still better than a needless divorce.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Should marriages have sunset clauses?


Thank God for marriage. Thank God for nuclear families. The last thing we need is one more to undermine the sanctity of marriage and family. The reason is obvious:

Some people may make a mess of their marriages, but that’s not the fault of marriage. What do I mean?

Some people suggest that we should have sunset clauses on marriages to help reduce the number of divorces and the costs and other difficulties associated with divorce actions in court. That’s ridiculous. The key to reducing divorces is not to eliminate marriage. We don’t outlaw alcohol to prevent drunk driving. Food is not outlawed to prevent obesity. Debt is was not made illegal to prevent bankruptcy. The point here is that the destructively high rate of divorce, and drunk driving, and bankruptcy is a crisis of character.

Do not misunderstand me. Some people drive drunk innocently, having no idea they are impaired and having no desire to drive while impaired. Others have no intention of incurring crushing that they can’t possibly pay. Not everyone who eats food is obese.

Likewise (and thankfully), most people marry with the intention of staying married. Just because some of these people’s marriages end in divorce through no fault of their own (such as through adultery or domestic violence or mental illness) does not mean that we should do away with marriage and thus do away with divorce in the process.

Far too many people are marrying carelessly and divorcing carelessly. Do you really think divorce is the solution to their “marital” problems? People who marry carelessly, who married for selfish purposes, and who failed to give their marriages the attention and to make the personal sacrifices a successful marriage needs aren’t going to be helped by divorce. They’ll still be the same careless and irresponsible people, just not married anymore. Their carelessness and irresponsibility will take its toll in other ways and on other people.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , ,

Which is more likely to cause a marriage to end in divorce – too much money, or not enough?

Which is more likely to cause your marriage to end in divorce – too much money, or not enough?

The perception of not enough money.

With, perhaps, the rare exception of a couple in which one of the spouse’s is totally disabled, there is almost never not enough money to sustain a marriage or family.

A married couple can almost always live more cheaply together than they could apart, so when a couple (and their children, if there are children) is dangerously poor and one of them accurately blames the other for their plight, it is because one of them is not pulling his/her weight.

When a couple’s/family’s income is sufficient to meet their needs, then if the marriage breaks up over “not enough money” it could be because 1) both spouses mismanage their money; 2) one of the two spouses mismanages the money; 3) one of the two spouses has an unrealistic view of how the money should be spent.

When a couple’s income is more than sufficient to meet their needs, then if the marriage breaks up over “not enough money” it is usually because at least one of the spouses has a problem that he/she/they believe(s) spending money will cure or numb. The divorce arises when either:

  • the overspending leads to insolvency (this is when people start buying expensive vehicles and other items on credit, gamble, and otherwise live beyond their means in the hope
  • that getting all the fancy stuff will ease the pain. It’s a very easy trap to fall into); or
  • even though there is still plenty of money to meet their needs and them some, one or both spouses realize(s) that “there ain’t enough money in this world that could keep us together.” In other words, in such a situation the problem isn’t too much (or too little) money.

Precious few of us will ever have more money than we know what to do with. So know that if money is a concern in your marriage, you’re in good company.

If Uncle Eric may offer his brief statement of a remedy to most (not all, but most) marriages that struggle over money issues:

  • you need to take “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish” seriously. You need to make your marriage more important than either of you alone (because it is). You need to consider every dollar of each of your earnings “ours” (legally it is—your spouse owns with you everything you earn and vice versa) and each of you needs to view spending the marital income wisely as a solemn duty to the other.
  • You need to live within your means (for many couples setting and sticking to a budget is all the marriage therapy they needed).
  • You need to make spending decisions on most things jointly (each of you must have a little money to spend as you choose, but major purchases need to be jointly made).
  • You can’t have secrets from each other when it comes to income and spending money.
  • You need to save a portion of your income for emergencies and for future needs and wants.

Do these things with a sincere heart (even when it’s tempting not to do them) and your marriage will not break up over money.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Click to listen highlighted text!