This is the ninth of a series of articles wherein I share a conversation I had with the executive producer and director of “Divorce Corp.” wherein we discussed the 58 reasons why I was unable to endorse the film. Since my last article covered points 36 through 40, I will start this article with my 41st point. In an effort to eliminate any possible confusion, the items in italics are my responses to Mr. Sorge. They are in italics because those responses were never sent to him.
“Forty first, I agree that it is a tragedy that a low income spouse can sometimes pay a high net worth spouse child support. In fact, I touched upon this issue in part in my article titled “New Spouse Income and Child Support in California.” This drives me nuts!”
“Agreed. It’s an egregious flaw in an otherwise terribly flawed formula.”
“Forty second, I agree that the interest on unpaid support is high, but it is the same as any other judgment in any other area of law.”
“Forty third, attorneys’ fees contributions are supposed to level the playing field. Without them, the more financially sound spouse can do anything and everything they want.”
“Our solution is to eliminate the need for litigators. Then this issue goes away.”
For the reasons I mentioned in the 7th part of this series, “eliminating the need for litigators” does not make this issue go away. Rather, it allows the spouse with the financial resources to just “take their toys and leave” if they cannot get their way, and there would be absolutely nothing that the weaker spouse could do about it.
“Forty fourth, I agree that perjury is rampant in family law court. However, it is rampant everywhere and I have my own theory regarding addressing that issue. I do, however, agree that there should be penalties for perjury. In fact, I have published the following articles on just this issue: (1) Does Anyone Tell the Truth Any Longer?; (2) Is there a Penalty for Perjury?; (3) Philosophy and the Law; (4) Lessons I Learned from My Parents: Part IV; (5) Lessons I Learned from My Parents: Part VI; and (6) Lessons I Learned from My Parents: Part VII.
“We agree regarding perjury.”
“Forty fifth, I agree that NEITHER judges nor juries seem capable of deciphering truth from fiction. This is a serious issue.” I have addressed this issue in the following articles: (1) Lessons I Learned from My Parents: Part IV; (2) Important Distinctions Between Litigation and Mediation; (3) Things to Consider before Litigating; (4) Inconsistency on the Bench; (5) Judicial Bias in Family Court; (6) What’s Truth Got to Do with It?; and Lessons I Learned from My Parents: Part VII.
“We agree. Again, take away the incentive to lie and most good people will stop lying.”
For reasons I have stated, the “incentive to lie” has to do with anger and other emotions that spouses are experiencing when they are divorcing. I am afraid that eliminating family courts and the other “solutions” proposed by Mr. Sorge fail to address the actual problem. By addressing the underlying emotional issues, you surgically remove the true “incentives to lie” that people have when divorcing. As I have said repeatedly, this can be accomplished through mediation and collaborative divorce. If handled properly, those processes are designed to reduce the level of conflict, rebuild trust and address the underlying emotional needs of the spouses. This is a one hundred and eighty degree difference from litigation, which tends to exacerbate emotions and the level of conflict and breed paranoia. By changing the default process from litigation to mediation, we can properly address this problem.
To be continued….