Divorce has to change. The courtroom drama needs to stop. Placing useless stress on families is having an unseen ripple effect in the community that is impossible to measure. Divorce has not always been the way it is in the 21st Century. The history of divorce goes all the way back to Biblical days; however, back then the only details surrounding a certificate of divorce was essentially a one-time send-off drawn up in one legal document. There was no drawn out process or a specific time of separation. There were no court dates. There were no meetings with attorneys. The certificate of divorce did EVERYTHING (Matthew 5:31). It legally severed the marriage, it divided assets and outlined how both people are to move forward. There is nothing in the Bible that shares how the children functioned in Bible times during a divorce. Going beyond Biblical days, marriage and divorce in ancient Rome sounded like it favored the male ALWAYS. According to Wikipedia, “Under Roman Law, the head of the family had absolute authority.”
Women in the Roman era could leave at any time, but they essentially left everything behind. She left her wealth and her children. I would say those situations were probably abusive situations. No one in their right mind would leave their livelihood and relatives unless they felt forced to do so. In some cases women could leave with their dowry, but still there is no indication how dowry allotment was enforced. Divorce also was considered a private matter, so only family and close friends knew of the personal matter. Divorce registration was not required until 449 CE.
The process as it is now has become a monstrosity for people in high conflict situations or people with a lot of assets. If there is low conflict and you have assets, better get ready for a high conflict divorce. The system as it is now is designed to twist the emotions of both parties so much that neither party recognizes who they are afterwards. Divorce is not pretty and it surely does not solve all the marital issues that surface after children. Why? You have children! If you have children, the other person does not fade into the background like a normal break-up; they are around for everything the children are involved in. They will be at the school. They will be at the children’s events. They will be contacting you still via email or some sort of co-parenting application. They will insist they are involved with the children and that means they are ALWAYS indirectly involved with YOU.
Additionally, if one person in the relationship was abusive divorce with children does not change their abusive tendencies it just morphs the abuse into a different form. This abuse can surface as control and/or abusive words whenever the person is angry or misunderstands something in communication. An extreme case is using the children in their abusive tactics. Divorce court only gives one option for abusive situations… A restraining order. Also very rarely does a restraining order become permanent unless the person has a criminal record, or the abuse led to a crime. Newsflash, if the abusive person is a “good” citizen on paper, the victim has no chance of justice. Please consult an attorney for any legal advice surrounding a restraining order.
Divorce must change. The community needs to take more responsibility in the union and the separation if it comes to that. The marriage and ceremony is designed to be the first public commitment the couple makes; however these days the people attending a wedding ceremony are never consulted if the happy couple all of the sudden decide to call it quits. When people get married they should be given options up front. Something like opt-in to family court or opt-out of family court; that way if a divorce becomes an inevitable solution the couple has a document to fall back on that they both originally agreed to. I would vote for a community private divorce rather than a public family court divorce, because truthfully no one in public court really cares about the people involved and the court system only makes things worse for everyone involved.