Divorce in the age of Marriage 2.0

“No fault” divorce is not a good thing. Not if you read the posts on this website http://weddedabyss.wordpress.com/. Sure, the author seems a bit bitter. Maybe he has been bitten and so now he’s completely disillusioned and jaded. But he does have a point when he includes the “no fault” nature of divorces in most states, as part of what he describes as “marriage 2.0.”
So what is Marriage 2.0 and what do the no fault laws have to do with it?
The main thrust of the no fault argument made at the above website is that no matter who is to blame and for what, the higher wage earning spouse will be made to pay the lower wage earning spouse; and the author finds this fundamentally unfair if not fraudulent. In fact, a recurring mantra on his blog is “marriage = fraud.” But what makes it 2.0? I am not sure. To me, the 2.0 nature of marriage comes from the technological advances that have been made in the last decade; social networking, things like that. So the fact that we live in the age of Twitter, Facebook, YOUTUBE, blogs, and reality TV to me, makes this the age of marriage 2.0. In other words, there is no privacy to anything and everyone can have an opinion on your marriage/divorce just by virtue of having access to such intimate details of your life, due to the fact that we live in the age in which we live. It almost, to me, takes away a lot if not all the meaning of marriage as we have known it traditionally. Marriage has become sport. But I am not sure that is what the author meant.
I do understand the other points he makes about the no fault laws. It is definitely problematic when you consider that in most states, even if your spouse was the one who cheated on you, beat you, committed criminal activity, or abandoned you, he or she is still entitled to close to 50% of the marital assets and if you are the most affluent spouse, even if they wronged you, you have to pay the malfeasant spouse. Something is definitely wrong with this.
On the other hand, I don’t have a big problem with a spouse having to share the marital assets with the other spouse even if one spouse earned significantly more than the other spouse during the marriage. The laws in a way were meant to deter divorce – which is bad for the family and ultimately bad for society. Marriage, in other words, is good for society and so if there is a way to slow down the divorce rate, to stem the sprint to the divorce courts, then the state has an interest in doing exactly that. Forcing spouses to take economic responsibility for each other ideally should encourage folks to make certain they are getting married for the right reasons and that they are really committed before tying the knot. Marriage is not, and was never meant to be a joke or something to enter into cavalierly. Actually, it was meant to last for better and for worse in sickness and in health till death. Divorce was not supposed to be a part of the equation, and so this issue of asset splits and community property and equitable distribution was really not a part of the calculus that was contemplated for.
As for the other issues and elements of marriage 2.0 according to the author – no fault alimony, gender -biased divorce, breadwinner rarely wins custody, unconstitutional domestic violence laws, children as cashcows, decriminalizing adultery – these are not elements that puts marriage in the 2.0 realm in my book.