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Prominent Novelist Offers Reflective insight on Divorce

 

Divorces can be intensely personal. The breakdown of something design for happiness for ever can feel like a weight on one’s life and past decisions. The reality of a family breaking apart, the process and the attempt at the next phase after divorce can be a draining period in one’s life. For those gifted with the skill of writing this can become a rich area for reflection. Memoirs often encompass periods of tragedy, delving into one’s own personal failures and low points allows all of us to relate to the natural ebb and flow of ups and downs that personal choices can bring.

Recently, prominent British author Rachel Cusk released a memoir book chronicling her recent marriage and subsequent break up. She is well known throughout the UK and has had fiction as well as prominent non-fiction works published. This recent memoir titled Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation deals with her reflections on her marriage, separation and divorce, having 2 children, and how to move forward.

Displaying the personal for the world

Rachel Cusk’s first personal memoir published in 2003 chronicled her personal experience into motherhood. Writing a brutally honest reflective piece she became a target for backlash calling her “petty”, “self-absorbed” and a bad mother. It became a staple of honest motherhood books and was subsequently copied by many other women.

It can be a daunting thing putting ones personal life to the public, especially when it has to do with doubt, failure, and personal hurt. Her new memoir chronicling the breakdown of her marriage, separation and divorce offers another raw glimpse into a deep reflective thinker as she trudges through a familiar painful process.

Relate-able pains

Obviously slanted through the female prospective, “Aftermath” and books like it can provide a deeply relate-able example to other mothers that go through the divorce process. Aftermath deals deep emotional issues, depression and Cusk’s thought on feministic ideas throughout family relationship, through her own eyes. Her questioning nature and self doubt, even as a highly educated and successful women, can serve as an example for women questioning their past, present, and future when considering or even just entering into the divorce process. Everyone feels some sense of comfort when we know there are others struggling with the same serious issues in their life. Regardless of professional critiques of Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation, the introspective nature of Cusk’s writing, as raw and unabashed as it is can potentially be the kind of personal crutch that recently divorced women need to let them know they truly are not alone with their worry and fears after something as emotional trying as divorce.

Harboring sorrow and guilt over personal situations such as divorce is natural. Many divorced couples often seek therapy individually. Having a relate-able objective person to listen can go a long way in easing the psychological pains that can often permeate a person’s mind after an emotional split of a family. We can often find relief in the literary pages of other people’s similar situations. We hear stats about how thousands of couples are divorced every year, yet the divorce process can seem so constricted within one’s own world. Divorce is common enough where support groups, message boards, and friends in a circle should be able to help support someone going through a divorce. Being there for someone can mean infinitely more to them then they may realize.

The Dilemma of Divorce and Only Children

 

The prototypical nuclear family used to consist of 2 kids and 2 decimal points of a third child…

Post World War 2 and during the baby boom era, large families were encouraged and an accepted part of the American society. Our culture, from TV shows to advertising was built around the dynamic of the family. As the 1960’s and 70’s came and went, we saw this dynamic drastically change.

Women’s equality had a trickle-down effect that changed more than just work and marriage. The residual effect of a more progressive society has had a direct correlation on how we think of defining a modern family. Within the past 35 years, as of 2004, the amount of only-child families has almost doubled. The U.S. Census Bureau has not kept detailed information about the nature of how or why the number of only-child families has increased, whether by choice or circumstance. There are currently 20 million single-child families in the U.S. The percentage of American women having only one child has more than doubled in 20 years, to almost one quarter. The single-child family is the fastest-growing family in the U.S. As the divorce rates have risen as well in the single child family. what effects does this have on the child? And what can you do to help?

Easing the emotional stress

Any only child will feel grief stricken during the breakup of the family triangle. Along with this emotional schism will be the adaptation to a totally different routine. Only children have no peer or close sibling to lean on. As parents in this situation, there is no clear cut way to best handle the divorce process with only children.  There are ways to help emotionally ease only children that are entering into the sometimes harsh reality of a now fractured close knit family.

Prepare the child

It is often advised that parents break the news to children together rather than one parent doing it separately. This is especially true in the case of only children.  Explaining together that this decision was mutual and a tough one to make will help the child understand that even though separating, the family is all going through this together. Keeping the family in the same room talking about a major decision like this will emphasize that even though there will be a change in living situation, both parents are still equally and fully apart of the child’s life.

Building the predictable routine

Understandably an only child’s routine will go through a period of change and adjustment. The age of the child will dictate the varying degree of emotional adjustments and problems the child may go through. Attempting to add any instances of routine and predictability to these new situations will help ease the child into a new life style, while still keeping the same values as if the parents still lived under one house. Also maintaining certain habits in the only child’s routine will help with a sense of comfort-ability and familiarity.

Be prepared for questions

The individual age and maturity of an only child will dictate the level of questions, but make no mistake children; especially only children will have questions. Taking the time to fully explain and answer your child’s questions can help assuage the fears of the unknown that may be swirling around in the child’s head. There can also be the mistake of only child parents leaning on their children in times like these. Parents can sometimes treat the only children as more of an equal then they should transferring some of their own fears to a child who may not be mature enough to emotional handle a certain level of stress

Families with an only child can often be seem close knit, even if the parents in essence do not have a happy marriage. The potential effects of a divorce on an only child can be more detrimental in only children. The impact of divorces can be seen resonating throughout many different facets of an only child’s life and for years down the road. Being prepared as a parent with an only child can help soften the blow, remember these children do not have an equal counterpart in the family to lean on in situations where they might feel they cannot go to their parents. Older brothers and sisters sometimes substitute as pseudo parents especially for budding adolescents, but only children have only outward experiences and contacts to learn and lean on. Protecting the blow that divorce can cause will help only children remember that even though apart, their parents will always be there for them.

The Future of Marriage: Roles, Contracts, and Divorce

 

Our belief in marriage and its value stems from, for most of us, a very religious background. The hypocritical nature of all the swirling modern facets of marriage has led some to contemplate other options. The rise of divorce, same-sex marriage, and the redefining of traditional roles in a modern relationship only heightens the contradictory and hypocrisy of still trying to define marriage in traditional archaic terms. Pardon the following pop culture reference but it serves as a jumping off point to a more subtle yet possible ground breaking shift that the future of marriage may one day find itself firmly entrenched in.

Contractual Nuptials

Take Katie Holmes and Tom Cruises whole scenario: Marriage, kids, divorce, rumors, etc. A specific rumor recently popping up when talking about their divorce alludes to the very real possibility that Katie Holmes signed a 5 year marriage contract. Forget for a moment the mysterious black spot that is Scientology and whatever that has to do with could and focus on the marriage contract aspect of it. It’s a fact of life that Hollywood celebrities and the rich in general exist under a different code of rules and boundaries then the average middle class family. But the proposition of marriage contracts is not that far fetched.

Marriage contracts, after all are not something conjured up form pure fantasy, we have shadowy forms of agreements that mostly have to do with someone’s possessions and their ownership when entering into a marriage. But along with pre-nuptial agreements, should we be thinking about a paradigm shift in the way marriage is defined and applied? In a realistic sense the idea of a contractual marriage or any other pre-determined agreement about the possible split of a union is not something that should be scoffed at. In New Mexico just last year considered the idea of implementing 2 year renewable marriage contracts, set with defined provisions about the potential splitting of assets and custody of children if there was a divorce. After 2 years if the couple was happy they could renew their marriage contract, if not the contract would simply end. It breaks all our stained glass romantic thinking that has been embedded into the fabric of what we traditionally expect in a partnership with the opposite sex. (Or same sex depending on your sexual preference)

Climate Change?

Consider for a moment the cliff upon which traditional marriage sits upon in this technology driven society. The very definition of marriage and traditional gender roles has been a hotly contested topic for the last decade; and with the social views of society swaying towards more progressive lines of thinking a prognosticator would not be a fool to project the overall legalization of gay marriage is inevitable.

Economic reasons also have a lot to do with the changing in marriage climate. Couples are waiting longer than ever before getting married as the average age for both men and women has hit all-time highs.  28.7 average age of first marriages for men and 26.5 in women. In the same respect there seems to be a growing gap in marriage that is similar to the economic gap in the United States. The more educated and older you are when you marry the more likely you are to stay together. The less educated and earlier that marry are more likely to eventually file for divorce.

So what will become of marriage? We often overreact as a society, taking the needle of the future to the extreme realm of eventual possibilities. More than likely we will continue stagger through the contradictory nature of using historic rules and ideas to define and continually changing faction. Our human emotions would not become any less responsive just because the judicial and legal definition of marriage and how it is experienced is changed. For those on both sides of the fence when it comes to the debate around marriage the battle will be ongoing. To try and change something that crosses over so many aspects of our nature would be met with only more mutinous and heated debates. What is clear is that half of marriages do not work, what is never clear is why we are so always so vehemently resistant to change where it is clearly needed.

Divorce and the Military: What You Need to Know

 

We constantly look with respect towards our military personnel. Some of these brave men and women sacrifice everything to protect the very rights and freedoms we hold dear in this great nation. We often forget that after, before, and during their active duty, these men and women also juggle personal lives. Relationships, finances, and happiness are not put on hold while they serve our country.

There are also many factions of the military, having a family while being an active member or stationed somewhere can be a strain on one’s life. Being in a faction of the military adds extra rules and restrictions to a person’s life. When it comes to divorce in the military there may be some stipulations different from regular citizenship. Knowing your situation and how the divorce process pertains to it will help ease this stressful process.

Residency Requirements and the USFSPA

Legally speaking, divorce applies the same way it does to any other non-military citizen. However, when it comes to residency issues when applying for divorce, many states will relax some of the residency requirements and stipulations allowing for active military personnel that are stationed around the country and remote places to file for a divorce in the place they are stationed.

Besides knowing the divorce process, military couples should understand and be knowledgeable about the United Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This s a federal stature implemented for military personal that is a guide for potential divorce couples that have either one, or both, members in the military. It says that the divorcing spouses should look to accept the state’s specific divorce rulings and laws on specific issues in the dissolution of a marriage. Mainly child support, spousal support, and military/retirement pension plans. One important USFSPA stature is that, while states have always viewed retirement and pension plans as like any other marital asset, the USFSPA allows states to classify military retirement pay as property instead of income.

Pensions and Retirement: How Military Benefits are Handled in Divorce

Retirement payments through the military are paid directly through the Defense Accounting and Finance Service. For an ex-spouse to be eligible to receive retirement payments, the couple must have been married 10 years combined with an overlapping 10 years of military service. For example, if a couple have been married 14 years and 8 of those years either of the spousal parties have served in the military, then the ex-spouse would not be eligible to receive retirement payments.

Another situation to watch for is how different states view the amount of time a marriage has been deemed to last. Depending on the states view of when the dissolution of a marriage happened, it may change the length of official time your marriage has lasted for and, consequently, could possibly change what benefits you or your spouse are eligible for. However, not being eligible for direct payment as an ex-spouse does not necessarily mean you may not be entitled to a portion. Throughout the divorce proceedings, an agreement can be reached by the divorcing parties to divide a retirement/pension. Usually the awarding of retirement military pay may be in addition to child support or spousal support.

No matter the external situation in a couple’s life, divorce can cause major upheaval. With so many specific laws pertaining to where you are and how long you have been married, it is important to know the rules and regulations that may influence your divorce. At MyDivorceDocuments, we can provide insightful information to help you understand exactly what challenges, legal or otherwise you could possibly face throughout the divorce process. Visit www.mydivorcedocuments.com today and arm yourself with the knowledge that can lessen your stress about going through the divorce process.

Divorce and Children: Everything You Know is Wrong

The effects of divorce on children have been studied for decades. While sociologists and psychologists have produced many findings on the short and long term effects that divorce may have children, many myths and questions still surround these scenarios. Every family is different, with a different dynamic and set of personality traits for each individual situation offers such a vast variety of circumstances.

When it comes to divorce and children no one has a clear cut answer about the absolute affects. The evidence of effects on kids from divorced families is considered a universal fact at this point, but the grey areas of individual effects from certain situations still provides much debate. Some clear myths still persist in defining divorce effects on kids. Let’s take a look at two of the most common.

If parents are happy their children will be happy also

The interesting dichotomy of divorce is the difference in potential happiness between the adults and children. For some parents who have tried to stick it out through hardships for their kids may realize that it is in the best interests for all involved, in the long run, to get divorced. It may be a relief for these parents. Besides a broken emotional marriage in many instances we see mother’s who have raised children and stayed home may go back to school. Some even had professions before kids may want to jump back into the fold. Fathers although traditional family dynamics say this is less likely, the same idea applies. Whatever the logistical or emotional reasons for a divorce it can truthfully be best for both adults involved. However no matter the positives that can come out of a divorce for both adults involved in the decidedly broken relationship the same cannot always be applied to the children in divorced families.

Children, especially younger children will have a tough time adjusting to a divorce, whether they exhibit outwards signs or not. Its unavoidable, the natural fracture of a home life for any child can be a defining part of what their views grow to be about human relationships and interaction. In young kids there are often 2 different reactions. They either become more aggressive to their surrounds or retreat inward. The myth that if parents are happy then so are kids can common be labeled in any situation as a way for the adults to convince themselves that they are doing the right thing.  No matter if this really is true in the long run, the effects a divorce can have on children, especially younger more impressionable ones can be sometimes unpredictable and leave a lasting imprint on the shaping of their personality through adolescence.

The Less animosity and bitterness, the less trauma

No matter how one defines a divorce in terms of “amicable” or not it is still a split. For children it is a schism and change of patterns and routines that will affect every aspect of their life going forward. Obviously minors it will affect more as they will have to adapt to different situations and the younger a child is when divorces happen the more impressionable both socially and psychologically it will be. In any situation with a divorce the more outward fighting and animosity between parents in front of kids, the deeper impact it will have on them. But it is also a false statement to conclude that even though the external animosity was kept at a minimal so also was the negative impact on children.

Believing this idea not only creates a pattern of ignorant behavior in parents, but can do continuous damage in children. Studies have shown that the affects of divorce can surface even 20 years after it has happened. There will always be a slice of animosity between divorced parents, it’s the very nature of almost all divorces, the very fact that they can’t get along. What the parents do have is the chance to both positively influence the child in the time following a divorce, and not in competition with each other.

Judith Wallerstein, who undertook an encompassing look at the affects of divorce began a study in 1970 and published a study in 2000 looking at the affects of divorce in children and what we know has stated that kids aren’t “resilient” and that the effects of divorce can have continuous residual effects in children throughout most of their adult life time. So in truth, unless there is an abundant of physical abuse and violence in a family environment, the effects and impact of a divorce can be long lasting and remain undetected at first.

With so many different studies about divorce floating around it can be confusing to know what to believe. The same can be said about the imminent legal process involving divorce. Laws are specific for each state. Rules and regulations can change on a case by case basis, and knowing what your situation can entail will help relieve some stress in already stressful process. At MyDivorceDocuments we can provide you with the helpful information to know the specifics of your situation and immediately get you started on filing for your divorce. Visit www.mydivorcedocuments.com today and get the helpful information you need.

Weird but True Divorce Stories from around the Web

 

Love can make people crazy; the world provides us many examples. Divorce however can induce behaviors that go beyond the scope of any sense of normal rational thinking. Even though it is the process of breaking up a bad or fruitless marriage people getting divorce sometimes feel to go out with a bang instead of agreeing this was a mistake and parting ways. The tug and war within relationships, even those entering the divorce process, excuse me, especially going through the divorce process can provide some hilariously disastrous results. If you’re going through a divorce or having a rough time processing the end of your marriage take a look at some of these extreme examples when keeping it real at the of the divorce process goes wrong.

Kid-ney or not kid-ney

We’ve all heard of returning wedding rings, or the splitting of assets and other such positions when divorces arise in couples. Here’s that scenario with a slightly organ-ic twist. A long island surgeon donated a kidney to his wife in 2001 which saved her life. After being embroiled in a bitter divorce for 4 years, part of his settlement was that he either wanted his kidney back from his wife or be handsomely compensated for it.  A separation over custody of body parts, that’s a new one. In his defense, the wife did admit to having an affair.

Mommy dearest

Being tight with your family is always a good thing. It’s always nice when you’re close to your parents, even as you get older, move out and attempt to start a family of your own. However there is a line that you generally don’t cross. In the realm of “What in the world were they thinking” marriage moments, an Italian groom decided he wasn’t ready to part with his dear mother yet, so he did what any normal person would do and brought her with him on his honeymoon with his new wife. Needles to say the wife filed for divorce shortly after citing “excessive emotional attachment.” In the man’s defense he claimed he couldn’t leave his mother alone for “health reasons.” But for guys, as a general rule, leave your mom at home when you’re going on your honeymoon, just to be safe.

Bird Chatter

Just when you think no one is listening in. A woman in China filed for divorce after suspecting and then getting confirmation that her husband was having an affair. The odd part is how she ultimately was convinced. The couple owned a pet Mynah bird, after some time she kept hearing the bird say things like “divorce” “I love you” and “be patient.” She also claimed the bird become increasingly talkative whenever the phone rang. Just goes to show you that you can’t always trust your pets with secrets.

Every relationship, failing or not has a different dynamic. Some are just taken to more extreme places then others. Reality can sometimes surprise us in its bizarreness.

Divorce can be no laughing matter to most people going through it. Crazy divorce stories aside, there are many different divorce laws created for divorce proceedings. In the United States each state has separate rules and stipulations involving the divorce process. Knowing the possibilities and preparing the future can help alleviate some of the stress that you might be going through. To learn about the laws in your state, or to begin your divorce process online, visit www.mydivorcedocuments.com.

77 Year-Old Marriage Ends

 

In a time where marriage is thought to have a 50% chance of ending in divorce, we often look to our grandparents’ generation for inspiration. Often asking the question of “How did they stay together?” or “What was different about those eras?” we find ourselves trying to figure out some sort of secret formula to make relationships and marriage work.

In truth there is no magic, the magic is a myth; people fall in love for different reasons, meet under different circumstances, and mesh together over many different facets of life that combine their personality traits and the environment in which they traverse together in. Sometimes someone can tell right away if someone is a match, and sometimes it takes decades for spouses to come to the conclusion that maybe this just isn’t working.

Age of the Absurd

In an age where celebrity marriages last a week, pet custody battles range up to thousands of dollars, and marriage is increasingly marginalized in society, comes a story that may be sad to some. But in truth, it’s just another example of what makes a marriage successfully, and that, no matter the situation, age, or how much you get along with your spouse, the truth is always more important than any other choice.

In 2012 we have seen our share of celebrity divorces dominate the news. Game shows, reality programs, and everything in-between have shown us the stark reality of just how absurd some people can be. Those with any significant amount of logic understand the real world without cameras can even be more stressful than those propped up scenarios involving people that are made to think they are “important.”

An Exercise in Real World Truth

Going back to our grandparents’ generation, we can stand amazed at how their families were able to keep it together. That is why this story seems so familiar despite its first glance perception. In 2012 an Italian man wanted to get divorced from his wife. He claimed to have discovered letters between his wife and another man, and when confronting his wife she admitted to the affair but begged him to stay together. Nothing totally out of the ordinary there right? The twist is that the man is 99 years old. The wife is 96. They have been married for 77 years, and the affair took place nearly 60 years ago. Despite his wife’s pleadings for them to stick together in their marriage the man is moving ahead with the divorce. When the divorce papers go through they will become the oldest divorced couple on record. Opinions on this anomaly situation will vary from “Why would they get divorced now?” to “What difference does the affair make 60 years later?”

The truth is, as always, that the truth wins out. No matter the shape, form, or age of a marriage, the same rules apply. There was no special relationship glue in the 1950’s and this story proves it. People are human, and are hurt by deception. Even at age 99 and over, something happened 60 some odd years ago that broke the trust and hurt a spouse. The truth and communication in a relationship and marriage is always the most important facets in its eventual success.

Tips for Moving on After Divorce

Moving past a relationship can be tough. This cliché has been reproduced in our society for hundreds of years. Love had and lost is a true theme of the human nature. We are all destined to encounter these types of situations at some point in our life.

All people react differently, but no one is immune to the negative emotions that surround this feeling of failed interaction between man and woman. Because it is inescapable to avoid these pains at one point or another, and divorces have become a prominent situation in our society, it has been stressed more and more as to how we can successfully move past these situations. What can you do to help yourself emotionally persevere?

Find a listener, and Forget About Revenge

Communication most likely was a part of the problem in your marriage; don’t let it follow you as you free yourself from a divorce. Two way constructive communications is important, not only for you to express how you feel but to get an outside and honest opinion about some of the things you may question. A long marriage can cloud your judgment and opinions in dealing with your now ex-spouse. A friend who can be objective and is willing to listen to you can be helpful because it is someone you can trust. However, no one should feel guilty about seeing a professional if they really need someone to talk to. We all have questions and problems within our life, and (truth be told) could all use someone with a professionally trusted opinion to help guide us at certain points in time.

Don’t get sucked back into revenge thoughts. We have all had those feelings. Wounded and left with no way to feel better except to inflict damage on the parties that wounded us. These are natural feelings; although they serve no purpose but to perpetuate the negativity and unhealthy behavioral pattern that might have led us into a harmful marriage in the first place. Most likely, no matter the situation, you can shoulder part of the blame for the way things turned out. Coming to terms with your role and accepting a portion of the blame will help you keep a level head and begin to understand that the best form of medicine is to start moving on.

Put more energy into your social life and broaden your horizons

Marital problems and significant schisms in your relationship can set your social life back from where you want it to be. A divorce can also do damage to your attitude at work and affect your productivity. In your post divorce life, focusing on your work or social life can be a helpful distraction and could possibly lead to positive things as you navigate new waters after many years of traversing rough seas. Nautical cliché references aside, many of us need distractions in trying times. Broadening our horizons and trying new things socially can help you both move on from the past and begin to create a positive future.

Moving forward through any negative phase in life can be emotionally stressful. Oftentimes we have to hit a certain “bottom” before we realize how low we have sunk. Avoiding these worst case scenarios and prolonging our misery will only keep setting us back on our road to recovery. Seeking out good listeners, someone to talk to, and trying new things will create positive distractions for as you attempt to dissociate from problematic time in your life. Moving on is never easy, but it’s up to you on how you react to these types of situations

Prominent Novels for Coping with Divorce

 

In our world we look for examples, build on experience, and need templates to sometimes show us the way. Self-help books fly off the shelf like Apple products, waiting to be sucked up as if they have some sort of ancient Atlantian knowledge we would never be able to figure out on our own. Experience cannot be substituted or duplicated. Step by step instructions do not allow us to learn or assist in coping with situations we may be experiencing. When it comes to human behavior and life’s trial, acute insight can help us feel we are not alone in our particular current struggle, allowing us to cope honestly and truly and learn from our past. In no situation can this be truer than divorce.

For every spouse or family, the nature of their separation is different.  Therefore people take on or experience different forms of mostly the same emotions. Grief, guilt, loss, anger, these are just some of the common resonating feelings that most people feel form a broken marriage. Luckily there are a select few who can masterfully put these feelings and their experiences into words, so that those of us who may be experiencing the same indefinable emotional tendencies, can learn more about ourselves and how to succeed in future situations.

Eat, Pray, Love

Now known for its motion picture adaption, starring Julia Roberts, “Eat, Pray, Love” tells the story of a Elizabeth Gilbert and how she made a difficult, yet momentous decision to turn away from the typical American successes, or trappings in her case, house, marriage, security, and venture out into the world to find herself. Traveling across the world and immersing herself in different cultures, this heartfelt memoir has connected with millions of readers, helping them follow their hearts and stay true to what their true purpose might be.

Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce

A story about a woman’s struggle to cope after her husband, after ten years, announced he wanted a divorce. Being left in a new house, alone,  starting a new job, and with a new baby, author Stacey Morrison tells and emotionally charged story about how she fretted, scrambled, and willed herself to open up and learn about this life-changing experience.

Split

An unflinching look at how discord and divorce can creep up within a relationship and leave someone in shambles, author Susan Finnamore was taken by surprise when her husband, suddenly announced, he needed happiness without her. Simultaneously funny, sad, and deeply poignant, Finnamore tells the story of a woman who experienced the worst, but came out the other side changed.

There are many novels and memoirs that connect us with those who are or have experienced the worst in their respective journey. From hitting bottom and coming out the other side a new person, the struggle in coping with this life changing event has and will continue to be documented. Divorce situations, no matter how different, they vary from family to family, create relatable experiences through each person’s unique perspective. Anyone going through a tough divorce should always know that there are memoirs like these out there to help remind them that there are millions of people who have fallen and picked themselves back up to come through a better person, and ready to reach back out to the outside world.

Pregnant Man Files for Arizona Divorce

 

You know times have changed when you see a headline starting with “pregnant man.” But in today’s world, where gender roles are continually being debated over, and the institution of marriage is being redefined state by state and law by law, it is no surprise that new scenarios in divorce will eventually come to the forefront.

The Blurred Lines of Marriage, Gender, and Divorce Laws

Transgendered couples’ laws are still in their infancy when it comes to marriage and divorce. So it’s no wonder that when it comes to a divorce in this type of situation, the lines are still completely blurred. Thomas Beatie, a transgendered man, was born a woman in his native state of Hawaii. He underwent an external sex change to become, for all intents and purposes, a man before he married his partner, Nancy, in 2003.

After learning that Nancy was unable to bear children, and still having female reproductive organs, Thomas bore their 3 children, making headlines when photos of him pregnant with a mustache were leaked online. Legally married in Hawaii, which recognizes same sex marriages, the couples have since moved their family to Arizona.

The Difference a State Makes

After moving to Arizona, to live the couple recently decided to file for divorce. While Hawaii recognizes their marriage as legitimate, they also recognize Beatie as a man. Arizona’s law, however, does not recognize same sex marriage and the courts have questioned the validity of their marriage. While Beatie’s lawyer has admitted that this scenario was new territory for Arizona law, he argues that if one state recognizes the legality of the situation, who is Arizona to refute the validity?

While it would technically be cheaper for Thomas to have the state not recognize his marriage and bypass having to pay any spousal support, he and his lawyer state that the case is not about the divorce laws themselves, but about validation for Thomas concerning his marriage.

This case, as with many others concerning either same-sex couples or transgendered couples, will continue to make headlines as they push the boundaries of the court courts and law structures. The social pressure on law makers to allow for same sex couples to experience the same rights in marriage as well as sharing in the divorce procedure has greatly increased in the last 10 years. Stories like this and others will grow more common as a collective push is made to increase the rights couples and transgendered marriages like Thomas’.