“The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue…”. Sister Lucia of Fatima.
The first modern no-fault divorce law was enacted in Russia in December 1917 during the October revolution. Looking at marriage as a bourgeois institution, the Russians transferred divorce from the Orthodox Church to the state courts. In the United States, no-fault divorce became the law in California, the first state to permit it. By 2010, all fifty states offer some version of no-fault divorce.
Calling it no-fault divorce is really a misnomer. The no-fault language was taken from automobile insurance. These new divorce laws did not really remove fault from the context of divorce, but they “did create unilateral and involuntary divorce, so that one spouse may end a marriage without any agreement or fault by the other.” Moreover, the spouse whose actions are at the root of the divorce causing an abrogation of the marriage contract, incurs no liability for the cost or consequences creating a unique and unprecedented legal anomaly.
In her book “The Divorce Culture”, researcher Barbara Dafoe Whitehead points to the therapeutic seduction of the culture as a contributing factor. According to therapeutic precepts, the fault for marital breakup must be shared, even when one spouse unilaterally, through breaking the marital promises, causes the divorce. In essence, no-fault divorce laws assume both parties are equally at fault, since no party could be innocent. The perverse assumption inherent in this argument is that if any individual is unhappy, someone else must necessarily be at fault. Because the assumption is the fault is shared, the newly imposed financial burdens on the grieved party are not of concern to the courts.
With more than forty years of data, researchers have compiled some statistics on the children of divorce. Children of divorce are:
• 3x more likely to be expelled from school
• 3x more likely to conceive a child out of wedlock
• 5x more likely to live in poverty
Consequences of divorce on women:
• 24% of divorced women live below the poverty line, while only 1% of married women are in poverty
• $112 billion is the annual cost of supporting divorced women and her children at the federal and state levels.
Impact on grieved spouse and family
I live in a strict no-fault state. Based on the legal assumption that both parties have fault in the breakdown of the marriage, the dissolving of the marriage becomes a business transaction. One party can be the primary or sole cause of the breakdown, yet the grieved spouse is judged guilty as well. Let’s look at an example of how nonsensical this is.
A couple have been married for more than ten years and have several children that came out of the marriage. The wife, a stay at home mom, discovers that the husband has been engaging in adulterous affairs. Initially, the husband minimizes his role and promises to change. The couple seeks counseling and continues to work on the marriage. Several years go by and new evidence comes to light that the adultery is continuing. Upon further investigation, it is determined that the conduct is still ongoing and has become more flagrant with multiple partners outside the marriage. The wife decides that due to the ongoing adultery to seek a divorce. We now enter into a strange legal situation. Despite promises that were made upon contracting the marriage and those promises being broken repeatedly, the wife is assumed to be equally responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. It doesn’t matter that she stayed home to take care of the children, the law, at least in Arizona, reduces the obligation of the adulterous father to a simple child-support calculation.
Imagine if contract law was this way. You contract with a builder to build your new home. They agree to build the home to your specifications, you agree to pay them 25% up-front, with periodic payments throughout. They start building the home, you pay the 25% deposit and they suddenly make unauthorized changes to the home. Eventually, you grow tired of their lies and substandard workmanship and seek legal remedies to get out of the contract. Using the logic from no-fault divorce, you are equally responsible for their issues and you still owe them money for the work they did and there is no liability for them to compensate you for your future losses.
Now, back to the hypothetical example above. The guilty husband, focusing on his career over the needs of his family, agrees to a divorce and very limited custody arrangement due to work obligations. The legal transaction is completed and both parties begin to build new, separate lives. After a few years, the husband decides that it is time to step up and ask for equal parenting time. Throughout the history of the marriage and the ensuing separate lives, this husband has never shown an interest in equal co-parenting. Yet, in my no-fault state, if he asks for the time, he gets the time. His prior actions, breaking of marital promises, plunging his family into chaos and disorder, have no bearing on the courts actions. We try and teach our children that actions have consequences. However, they look to this breakdown of their family and see that Actions have no consequences, at least in the eyes of the family court. And because the parenting time percentage has no changed, the grieved party suffers further grievance by seeing their child-support shrinking by more than 50%. The guilty party, who plunged the entire family into chaos, further causes distress to his children by putting their mother in danger of not being able to provide housing due to this. It’s the bad gift, that keeps of giving grief.
We cannot force people to remain married and should not try. Fact: It is not a matter of forcing you to remain married. The issue is taking responsibility for one’s actions in abrogating an agreement. No-fault divorce means the spouse who breaks the marriage agreement, incurs no onus of responsibility. Indeed, that spouse gains advantages. Courts therefore do not dispense justice against a legal wrong. Imagine what might happen if the contract breaking party were held responsible for damages. Taking my previous example into account, the grieving party repeatedly broke the marriage contract through adulterous behavior. Even when confronted and afforded chances to put that behavior behind him, he chose to continue and accelerate that behavior. This behavior imposed a severe burden on the wife and children by forcing a duplication of resources: home, car, utilities, food, child care…the list goes on and on, not to mention the psychological impact on the children. Where is the justice in this? You get to repeatedly break a contract and the cost to you is nowhere near the cost imposed on the party you grieved. It is truly a sad situation and comes from the pit of hell.
Prophecy of Fatima
There were three secrets of the apparitions at Fatima. The second secret was a statement that World War 1 would end, along with a prediction of another war should men continue offending God and should Russia not convert. The second half requested that Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If Russia was not converted, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. It is an interesting thing to note the second secret and the focus on Russia. No-fault divorce originated in Russia during the revolution. Now, one hundred years later, the error of no-fault divorce, originating from Russia, has spread to the world. Fatima was only one of the later prophecies of the attack on marriage. In the 1600’s, Our Lady of Good Success in Quito Ecuador prophesied:
Thus I make it known to you that from The End of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of morals…As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Iniquitous laws will be enacted with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin…In this supreme moment of need for the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.
Let us, the Church Militant, fight to keep marriage holy and to put more focus on our family, and much less on ourself. Marriage is not a 50/50 partnership. You give 100%, and expect 0% in return. In actuality, we get back more than we give. Let us also recognize that there are many people around us in need of help as they deal with the fallout of the attack on the family. As Jesus said, “You shall love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.
St. Paul wrote, Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Put on the armor of Christ.
Glory to Jesus Christ!