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Tuna again In Fault-Finding England, It's a Cause for Divorce - Essay Example

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Tuna again? In fault-finding England, it's a cause for divorce A rebuttal In her article for The New York Times, Sarah Lyall (2012) takes a comedic approach to explain to readers the differences in marriage law between the United States and England, and more specifically, the absurdities of the English divorce law…
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Download file to see previous pages Because of this, complaints include the mundane, absurd and occasionally the bizarre. However, I argue that Lyall takes a serious subject much too lightly and that her implied ‘solution’, does nothing to fix the problem, instead it is an attempt to hold the rest of the world to a particular standard, which does not appear to be working very well anyway. Lyall is adamant about criticizing the United Kingdom system of divorce, implying that the most effective solution for the problem of divorces in the United Kingdom would be to move to the American model, and allow for no-fault divorce. However, how much of a problem is there in the United Kingdom? In the United Kingdom, the divorce rate for 2010 is 11.1 divorces per 1,000 individuals in the married population. If one takes into account the fact that a married couple consists of two individuals, this is a rate of a little over 20% of marriages fail (Rogers 2011). Furthermore, it is estimated that around 70% of these divorces occur for first marriages (Divorce Rate 2009), suggesting that either people learn from their mistakes, or that few remarry. These statistics are different in the United States, where the divorce rate is approximately 50% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2012), that is, half of all marriages end in divorce. The relationship of divorce to number of marriage is also different, with second marriages having a higher rate of divorce than first, and third marriages having an even higher rate (Divorce Rate 1999). These figures suggest that marriages fare significantly better in the United Kingdom than in the United States. This might be a result of the United Kingdom system of divorce being more difficult, but the article by Lyall implies this is not the case. She suggests that results are not more complicated in the United Kingdom, just that they focus on more trivial matters. Therefore, if this trend is not caused by a difficultly in divorcing, the next logical answer is that marriages in the United Kingdom fare better than their United States counterparts. This raises some important questions. For example, does the United Kingdom system of divorce help to keep couples together? This argument is not as unreasonable as it sounds as thinking and writing out reasons for the divorce may help couples to confront their problems, and to realize how trivial many of these actually are. This allows room for much more reflection than the American process, where couples may not even be certain between themselves why they are divorcing. Lyall argues that creating a no-fault divorce would remove the requirement for judges and lawyers to determine fault in the divorce. As she explains, currently under the United Kingdom law a divorce must fall into one of five categories before it can be granted. The most common category is unreasonable behavior, which as Lyall shows, can cover a wide range of different types of behavior. However, Lyall appears to believe that moving to a no-fault divorce system would not increase the rates of divorce. This argument is heavily flawed, as by its very nature, making divorce easier would increase how often it occurs. For example, in the United Kingdom the practice of extended separation is common, and this is often used to provide evidence for a future divorce claim (National Family Mediation 2010). This practice can help couples to understand what they lose ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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