After all the schisms, projectile crockery, navel gazing eventually you have to come to a contractual agreement. You have to break-up the partnership and put it all down on paper. You think you sign your life away to a mortgage? T’aint nothing compared to a divorce agreement.
In our contemporary world there is little that is considered real except what is measured. And the metrics of divorce are money and – if there are kids involved – time. Roles that may have taken years to evolve and, left to themselves, would naturally adapt to changing circumstances must now be set contractually until adulthood with the time/money parameters set to check action against commitment.
Just the act of setting the parameters is more than a bit ridiculous… but I’ll talk about that in another piece as this is already way too long. —
Typically one party is always the provider. The other party is the supported. Or should be supported…. again I’ll deal with that one later.
Hold it…. What about co-parenting? The even split of parenting responsibilities between each parent?
Having two homes equally suitable for raising children is by definition an exercise in redundancy. If there’s only one kid, it isn’t nearly as an expensive bit of redundancy but as soon as you have two or more kids and different genders then the cost and commitments escalate much more than simple doubling.
I’m in Canada but I’m pretty sure the same can be said for US, Australia, the UK and many other countries, but the system overall has been shaped as a way to guard against men being bastards. Co-parenting is a mitigation that has been tacked on our inherently adversarial system.
Guys who leave and don’t want to pay child support — that’s what shapes the standards, the rules and the means of enforcement. Trying to work anything else in this adversarial set up and you’re bashing square pegs into round holes and the parties to the divorce are the pegs. Granted the peg is made of flesh and bone. So with enough bashing you can get the couple in there – but be prepared for a lot of bits get to get painfully shaved off in the process.
In trying to make parenting fit to those crude parameters – how much damage is meted to the parties involved and how much of the genuine parenting is lost?