Divorce & the Fair Division of Property

divorce - division of property & Gospel


Divorce is a combination of lies – so many big, ugly, hard-hearted lies, so many glorious carrots dangled in front of the face of any jackass who believes divorce solves problems.

Pardon my language. I almost never cuss, but I’m angry and disappointed and stopping just short of stamping my feet, balling my fists, and throwing a world class toddler’s temper tantrum.

I’ve seen too many friends throwing away their marriages lately and have heard too much talk of the Synod Bishops making annulments even more like Catholic divorce, easier to obtain, not necessarily easier to live with!

Perhaps one of the biggest lies told by the court system is that division of property is meant to maintain, “the same quality of life,” for all. This is a crock of bull.

I teach high school math, but it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that you cannot take one lifestyle, divide it into two separate houses, and have the same quality of life enjoyed – yes, enjoyed – that was enjoyed as a married couple.

And don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy the quality of life living with your spouse provided. If you didn’t enjoy the quality of life, you would hand everything over to your spouse and be happy with whatever is left, but we aren’t happy with what is left. We fight for the lifestyle we enjoyed pre-divorce. We fight for what we assume is rightfully ours.

Division & Child Support

The deserting man balks at living off of 83% of his salary while his wife and child live off 17% ignoring the fact that her salary ceiling is much lower even if she is able to find quality employment. For 5 or more children, that child support tops out at 35% given to the wife and children while an absentee dad keeps 65%. According to US Labor Statistics, the typical salary runs men’s salary about $46,000/year while according to CNN it costs approximately $245,000 to raise a child to 18 years old.

Do you see the gap there or notice why so many single mothers and children end up in poverty while so many single fathers end off better after divorce while still complaining about the amount they “provide”?

The father often refuses to face the fact that his wife gave up her career to raise their child or to help her husband get ahead. He refuses to admit that his children are such wonderful human beings because of the time his now-adversary put into Loving them.

This is because he bit into the lie of fools that told him he would maintain the same quality of life as promised. Admitting he was a sucker is too painful a choice and so he chooses to cast blame rather than look in the mirror.

I use this scenario because it is often men who walk away with more money while complaining about the injustice, but men are not the only ones guilty of falling for the lie that there can be a fair division after divorce. Women abandoners often think they will be able to survive on alimony and then are shocked to discover alimony no longer exists in many parts of the country. What is sadder still is the skyrocketing rates of women who are abandoning their vows.

The Division of Human Beings: The Worst Division of All

Maybe you think sharing children is okay. Maybe you think it’s okay to split weekends and birthday parties and holidays and sporting events. Maybe you’ve fallen for the lie that you do whatever is best for the children when if you really cared for your children you’d Love your spouse and not make a child choose between two people he Loves.

Maybe you’re falling for the family court accepted lie that, in a perfect world, children are split 50-50. What kind of perfect world is this referring to? What have we done to our Hope for a perfect world? What message does this give to our children and the Hope they have for their world?

A child is not a possession;

dividing the child or his time is never fair.

Attitudes involved with divorce are often disgusting and wrong. Possessions do not belong to us and can never be fairly divided in divorce. Children are even less our possessions. They are gifts, precious, innocent gifts scarred by adult choices, actions, words, and decisions they have no control over. Believing they can be fairly divided is part of the lie we buy into and they pay for when adults choose divorce for their children.

In truth, by choosing divorce, you are choosing to steal treasures from your spouse and your children. You are not taking what is rightfully yours. You are taking what is ours and denying others rightful access. This includes divisible things like salary and retirement but more so it involves priceless, nonmaterial gifts like lifestyle and time and children and Love.

In divorce, the lie is that you can maintain the same quality of life with a fair division of property but what is divided most painfully is what can never be referred to as property and can never be replaced.

Sunday’s Gospel shows us a rich man willing to follow the Lord in every way except in giving up possessions. He can follow Jesus’ other commands but cannot give up that to which he clings.

Are we not the same in our marital disputes? Do we not fight for what is “rightfully ours” when we should be handing our gifts over to the Lord and thanking Him for the time we have been able to enjoy them?

Oh how hard this is to do,

but oh how necessary too!!

When faced with fears of housing loss, hunger, empty Christmas trees, and lost friendships, how do we hand over the little we have to a God we cannot see? How do we not fight for what is “rightfully ours”?

The Bible tells us, in the Parable of the Tenant, Luke 20: 9-19, that we must use our gifts wisely. It says to whom much has been given, much will be expected. We are called upon to protect, not throw away, misuse, or squander gifts, but we are also called to realize that everything we are given is due to the Grace of God the Father and we are called to turn all over to Him.

It is a fine line between standing up for what you and your children need to survive, to grow, and to give and fighting for what is “rightfully yours,” between fighting for that lie that tells you there will be a fair division of property, the lie that tells you you will maintain the same quality of life.

Whether you lose material wealth or priceless gifts, like time and respect of children and others, you will experience loss after divorce.

Hand it all over to the Lord. Remember those possessions are His, always have been, always will be, and be thankful for what you have and who you are. Embrace each intangible Blessing and material possession for what it is, a gift from your Father. Don’t gripe over foolishly falling for the idea that you will maintain the same quality of life after divorce.

Pray that you discover new more precious qualities of life such as Wisdom to see lies for what they are, for Peace in however much or little you possess, and in Love of Truth which fulfills in a manner greater than any earthly gift ever could.

photo credit

God Bless…

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