What the hell, Iowa?! Back in December I chronicled an Iowa Supreme Court case that said it’s perfectly fine to sexually harass women and then fire them. But now you’re working on a law that changes the no-fault divorce laws because girls are “promiscuous?” I’ll get back to that in a moment after a description of what no fault divorces actually are. No-fault divorces simply allow for couple to split up without assigning specific blame for the union’s collapse. It can only comes about if both parties totally agree on the dissolution of marital assets, child custody, support ect. Under the proposed law, it would make it more difficult for couple to break up. According to Radio Iowa:
Under the proposed legislation, parents with kids under the age of 18 could not get a no-fault divorce. Instead, they’d have to show a spouse was guilty of adultery, had been sent to prison on a felony conviction, had physically or sexually abused someone in the family, or had abandoned the family for at least a year.
There are so many thing wrong with this I don’t know where to begin. What happens if the people involved are just incompatible? What if one spouse has gambling problem and they refuse to get help? How about if he or she is only emotionally abusive as opposed to physically abusive? According to the legislation, none of those are enough of a reason to break up a marriage. The thinking goes that it’s bad for the kids. But why is the assumption that kids would do better in those situations rather than in safer and more emotionally supportive single-parent homes? Eliminating no-fault divorces is stupid for oh so many reasons. Perhaps the most stupid is State Representative Tedd Gassman’s expalanation:
Representative Gassman said the issue is “near and dear” to his heart because his daughter and son-in-law recently divorced, putting his granddaughter at risk.
“There’s a 16-year-old girl in this whole mix now. Guess what? What are the possibilities of her being more promiscuous?” Gassman said. “What are the possibilities of all these other things surrounding her life that a 16-year-old girl, with hormones raging, can get herself into?
What a great and profound reason to change the laws of your state. Your daughter’s divorce apparently makes your granddaughter “more promiscuous.” You know, it’s usually pretty difficult insult your entire family when you start off with the words “near and dear.” But somehow Representative Gassman has manage to call both his daughter and son-in-law bad parents for getting a divorce and his granddaughter a whore for being from a broken home. Bravo.
But on to the substance of this ridiculous argument. Eliminating no-fault divorce won’t reduce the number of divorces, it will just make them more contentious and potentially damaging for the whole family. Need some evidence? New York is the perfect example, since we were the last state in the union to adopt no fault divorce laws. Bloomberg News has an article on the recent changeover.
Previously, New York was the only U.S. state without no-fault divorce. Spouses disagreed on terms of a divorce couldn’t dissolve their marriage unless one proved the other committed an act such as cruelty, adultery or abandonment.
The result was protracted for some couples, with trials over who was to blame for the dissolution of a marriage, and, sometimes, false claims to make the allegation fit the law.
This is what happens when you don’t care enough to check basic facts: you end up producing legislative garbage. All this law will end up doing is forcing people to stay longer in bad situations. Let’s stipulate that divorce can sometimes be bad for families. One would think that the divorce rate must be soaring in the Hawkeye state for the government to take such a drastic step. Maybe other states without no-fault divorces have significantly lower divorce rates and they want to emulate those sucesses. That would be no and no. According to the census bureau, not only are divorce rates dropping in the country as a whole, Iowa has the one of the lowest divorce rates of any state. In fact, not only are divorces down in Iowa, marriages are also on the rise. I’m going to say that one more time since State Representative Gassman is doesn’t care enough to do two-minute Google search. In Iowa, marriage is on the rise and divorce is on the decline.
Here’s some more facts for the Representative. New York State was the last commonwealth to adopt no-fault divorce laws back in 2010. Over the last twenty years, it has had a higher rate of divorce than Iowa. Any way you look at this problem, it’s impossible to see how changing divorce laws will have the effect that he says he wants. But way to go using the tiniest of anecdotal evidence of your daughter’s divorce to take a stand against a problem that’s already been on downward trajectory for the last 20 years. Every time these people start talking about the sanctity of marriage, people should run in the other direction.
I’m confounded by you Iowa. This constant salsa step back and forth with any form of progressive-ism is maddening. How do you go from being one of the first states to adopt no-fault divorce laws back in 1970 to this? Back in December I mentioned Iowa as a place of uneven progress. The same could be said about a lot of states. But they seem to be taking more steps backward lately.
**Update** There’s been some movement on the proposed bill. You can read about those Promiscuous Iowa Girls here.
Categories: Politics Fix