Divorce Isn't Supposed To Be Easy

Effective October 1, a new law creates a category of people who are eligible for expedited divorce in Connecticut. Qualifying “non-adversarial” couples can get split in less than a month and need not ever make a court appearance.

Seven years post-Kerrigan, mere months after Obergefell, our state becomes increasingly marriage-unfriendly. Some of us have argued that, while those decisions are probably more a byproduct of an already divorce-happy mentality than a cause of it (an important point), it is not exactly easier to defend permanence as a crucial or desirable aspect of marriage when we can’t even agree on what seems more obvious — the idea that this union is based on sexual complementarity.

Remember that recent piece on tasteless divorce selfies? Remember when the New York Times reported on just how much the liberal Northeast discourages marriage?

The New Haven Register notes that lawyers are “concerned that spouses getting a divorce won’t get the necessary legal advice they need. There also had been concern the process is prone to fraud because neither party would have to be present in court.” Their alarm seems rather predictable, although probably sincere. Where my head really nods along is when the Register goes on to say, “Opponents wonder whether the state is promoting divorce rather than steering couples to counseling.” Bingo. When I look at the requirements, I believe I see a target demographic similar to my own: young, childless, and basically if not technically poor — couples who already lack one major incentive to stay married. Yes, the impact on children is a good reason to oppose easy divorce, but it’s not the only reason; adults suffer, too. The state is tempting them and, contrary to progressive goals, helping exacerbate class inequality.

But the Register opines in its editorial, “We don’t think the law goes far enough.” Of course not. So. Very. Frustrating.

Some things are just not supposed to be this easy. Walking away from a potentially reparable marriage is one of them. If few people can take advantage of the new law, it may be in part because they no longer see the point of the institution at all — and with the state helping to eviscerate it further, it’s hard to blame them.