The laws relating to division of property and support and all other laws pertaining to families vary from state to state. Moreover, the laws change over time. One day the laws go one direction and the next day they could change. In other words, the laws are “arbitrary.” What makes California’s laws on these issues any better than those in Iowa, New York, Massachusetts or elsewhere? The issues are the same everywhere. Other than the fact that family law in California is governed by California law, what makes those laws appropriate to any given family or situation? Couples fight for their “legal rights” and against their “legal obligations.” Do they need or even want that which they are fighting over or are they just fighting for some arbitrarily granted “right” or imposed “responsibility?”
Considering the arbitrary nature of the law, people should not get caught up fighting over things they would not otherwise want or need — but for some arbitrary laws. When people approach the resolution of their issues from a needs/interests/values/goals/fears perspective, they end up reaching agreements that each party believes is “fair” to them. One person’s garbage is another person’s treasure. What is “fair” to one person is not necessarily “fair” to another because it is all a matter of perspective. We need to stop imposing other people’s (including the attorneys’) perspectives of “fairness” on people involved in family law matters.
Cases in any other area of law are not as driven by emotions as are family law cases. In no other area of law are we dealing with people who had been sexually intimate. In no other area of law are the parties dealing with children they had together. In no other area of law are people giving or receiving money without fault being involved, etc.
For all of these reasons, family law should not be treated the same as other areas of law.