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“No-Fault” Divorce Puts Kids at Risk

Kevin McCullough | “MuscleHead Revolution,” WMCA New York | Friday, November 30, 2007

“No-Fault” Divorce Puts Kids at Risk

November 27, 2007

As a general rule, plaintiffs who file for “no-fault” divorce should be found unfit to gain custody of their children. This should be done for the protection of the children involved. But most importantly it should be done to restrain the growth rate of the scourge known as “no-fault” divorce.

Homosexual activists have been bold in their attempt to redefine the basic make up of the family by assaulting the institution of marriage. Yet the damage they’ve inflicted upon children to date is miniscule compared to what the plaintiffs of no-fault divorce have unleashed upon child after child.

Particularly dangerous is the growing number of women seeking no-fault divorce only to then seek casual cohabitation with replacement men. According to a recent Associated Press story “abusive-boyfriend” syndrome is increasingly putting children into not just emotional, spiritual and mental jeopardy, but now—sadly—increasing risk of life and limb. The AP story reports that:

  • Children living in households with unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two biological parents, according to a study of Missouri abuse reports published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2005.
  • Children living in stepfamilies or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with two biological or adoptive parents, according to several studies co-authored by David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center.
  • Girls whose parents divorce are at significantly higher risk of sexual assault, whether they live with their mother or their father, according to research by Robin Wilson, a family law professor at Washington and Lee University.

The problem in large measure is the great number of plaintiffs in no-fault cases who are living in denial and selfishness, to the point that they are not truly caring for the welfare of their children. Oh they may say they do—especially when it comes to the custody portion of the divorce proceeding, where they make the case that they are, in fact, the stronger parent. In reality, they are saying they are willing to destabilize the life of their children for literally “no reason.”

I am not arguing that legitimate reasons for marital dissolution should be eliminated in custody concerns. Infidelity, abuse and addictive behaviors should serve as legitimate considerations when evaluating the decision-making ability, integrity and trustworthiness of the potential parents who seek custody. But the idea that one can come before a judge and say (essentially) that “there is no legitimate reason” for us to break up the universe of the children I was given responsibility for seems a stretch in logic.

Prior to the emergence of no-fault divorce, both the faith and legal communities were restraining forces that limited the prevalence of divorce. When the law obligated the plaintiff to cite a cause for such a drastic measure as divorce it naturally made divorce less common. Adultery jeopardizes the welfare of children, because it jeopardized the welfare of the marriage that created those children. Physical abuse was seen as a criminal aberration in marriage—one that was carried out by a very small minority and certainly one that threatens the welfare of both spouse and children. Addictive behaviors and abandonment are also understandable risks to the health of the family unit.

Yet here is the foul stench behind no-fault divorce: Sinful humans grow tired of having to live up to the vows they took before God and the responsibilities they committed to before man. Wanting sin without consequence wasn’t enough—now we want a guilt-free way to walk away from marriage. As a result, people are “finding themselves,” “trying to figure things out” or just looking for an amicable way to exit the situation.

Yet they were “responsible” enough to form a legal union, create children and begin the act of attempting to parent them?

Decades ago the average age at marriage was younger, even in the teens in many cases—and the maturation of the persons joined in these unions grew as life’s commitments multiplied.

Today, it is our desire to extend adolescence later and later into adulthood coupled with the sin of envy that lies at the root of why no-fault divorce is so “necessary.” This scourge has brought with it additional unforeseen problems. Violence against the non-blood-related children by the new man is just one example. There is also the Woody Allen syndrome—those who are drawn toward the blooming daughters of the formerly-married woman.

Put bluntly, there is no benefit to the children of a society that makes marriage as easy to escape from as choosing which store to shop at.

And the price, we now know, is literally killing our children.

We should return to the day of accountability and responsibility as a culture—particularly when it comes to the welfare of children.

And plaintiffs who file for “no-fault” divorces without justifiable cause should be ready to lose their children in the process of doing so.

Kevin McCullough is the host of “The MuscleHead Revolution” radio program, heard daily in New York City on WMCA 570 at 2pm ET. He’s the author of “MuscleHead Revolution: Overturning Liberalism with Commonsense Thinking” and regular blogger at www.muscleheadrevolution.com. Contact Kevin at [email protected]