Derek Johnson Muses

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A Modern Civil Divorce

Divorce Court 15 Years Ago:

Judge to divorcing couple, “What’s your reason for divorcing?”

Couple, “Irreconcilable differences. All we do is yell at each other.”

Divorce Court Today.

Judge to divorcing couple, “What’s your reason for divorcing?”

Couple, “Irreconcilable differences.”

Judge, “What, you fight all the time?”

Couple, “No, we don’t fight. We just recently had a disagreement, and it’s going to lead to a bigger fight, so we’re just getting a preemptive divorce.”

Judge, “A preemptive divorce?”

Couple, “Yes.”

Judge, “You mean, you’re not really fighting..”

Couple, “No, but we will be. You see, your honor, Joe is taking a job that is eight hours away from where we live now.”

Judge, “So, Jane, why don’t you move with your husband?”

Jane, “I have a job I love here, and our children are just starting school. I don’t want to move them and leave my job.”

Judge, “So, Joe, your wife is happy here. Why don’t you want to stay here?”

Joe, “I do want to stay here.”

Judge, “You do? So why are you taking the job if you are willing to stay here with your wife?”

Jane, “Oh judge, I can’t ask Joe to stay here.”

Judge, “Ma’am, why are you speaking for your husband?”

Jane, “Please let me finish, your honor. He would resent me because he’d be staying in the same job he has now. It’s a mid-level management job, and he can do so much better. I don’t want to stand in the way of his happiness.”

Judge, “Joe, do you currently resent your wife for standing in the way of this job?”

Joe, (Pause) “No, but I will.”

Judge, “Jane, if you acknowledge that this job is what’s best for your husband, why is the right thing to get a divorce instead of moving? Can’t you find a job in the city he’s moving too?”

Jane, “It wouldn’t be the job I have now. I’ve worked so hard for my position, and I couldn’t possibly leave it.”

Judge, “And the two of you haven’t found much over this…”

Couple, “Oh, we’ve fought, but not as much as we are going to fight. We both know what’s best in the long-term is to split up now and spare each other the emotional damage.”

Judge, “It appears that you don’t have any serious emotional damage right now. And if you have no serious emotional damage, what business do you have in my courtroom?”

One response to “A Modern Civil Divorce

  1. Pingback: Why Jim and Pam’s Struggles Didn’t Bother Me | Derek Johnson Muses

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