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Bizarre Divorce Story from Across the Globe


Throughout the years politicians have been caught doing some downright despicable things. Some closeted skeletons eventually find their way out and justice prevails. However, in a less democratic country in which the two words “Sharia law” are still bantered about comes the unnerving evidence of just how unfair some situations can be.

Divorce Woes in Indonesia

From Jarkarta, Indonesia comes a story of an imbalance of social power and divorce. Aceng Fikri is a local head of the district Garut in West Java, Indonesia. Fikri, already married with children, decided to take a second wife. While few Muslims practice polygamy, it is not against Indonesian law. However, civil servants are prohibited from taking second wives because of the strict regulation upon their private lives.

Questionable Ethics in Any Land

Fikri already caused a stir by taking a second bride, who also happened to be 16 years old, named is Fani Oktara. Although 16 is the legal age for marriage in Indonesia, as stated, Fikri was already married with children. After the marriage, Fikri claimed that Oktara was not a virgin as she claimed and wanted to dissolve the marriage. Fikri divorced Oktara through a text message, which he later claimed he was allowed to do due to Sharia Law. The subsequent fallout and public outrage culminated after Oktara and her family filed a police complaint stating Fikri falsified his marital status, along with defamation of character and unpleasant conduct. Many citizens have protested in Garut, calling for his resignation. Many hope to use this case as an eye-opener to change of the common cases of human trafficking, the illegal sex-trade, and the exploitation of women which have been a widely known problem in the province of West Java. Also, how many times are the ideas of Sharia Law and text messages connected in the same sentence?

It is a far cry from the problems couples commonly face in Western Civilizations, and seems to make the divorces of celebrities and millionaires very self serving, self-centered, and disenchanting. Divorce is no laughing matter, no matter which country and set of laws one may live under. Knowing the divorce procedures can better arm you, whether you are husband or wife, to make your divorce a smooth as possible. To learn more about the U.S. state divorce laws, or how you can qualify for an uncontested online divorce, visit today.

The Logic Fallacy Behind Iowa’s Divorce Bill

logical fallacy in Iowa divorce billIn the past month, the U.S. has seen some strange marriage and divorce legislative moves from various states. In early February, North Dakota revisited an old House Bill that would force parents to observe a 6 month waiting period and undergo counseling before finalizing the divorce. The bill had been introduced a year earlier, but it was rejected because it originally had a year waiting period.

Apparently the divorce reform is an infectious virus, and Iowa has got it bad.

Divorcing an Absent Spouse

200259869-001Divorce is a difficult enough process between the court fees and dealing with your spouse. However, divorce without a spouse is just as difficult, if not more stressful. No, you didn’t read that wrong, divorce can be done without knowing where your spouse is.

While some people may be thinking “If only I didn’t know where my spouse was…” those who are in this unique situation are wishing it were otherwise. But the American judicial system is not that cruel as to deny a person a divorce just because their spouse is nowhere to be found.

Search for the Absent Spouse

It is easier to complete divorce process with an absent spouse in some states than others. Most states with the no-fault option, like California, have provisions for spouses seeking a divorce who do not know the whereabouts of their spouse.

It is recommended to make all efforts of locating your spouse, and record your efforts before filing the divorce forms. Essentially, you will have to prove to the court you have exhausted all options of finding your spouse. If you’re at a loss for where to begin, we have compiled a list of the recommended ways of attempting to locate your spouse.

  • Search the phone book

  • Contact their last known employer for information about their current whereabouts

  • Check with the post office to see if they left a forwarding address

  • Check at their last known residence

  • Contact any and all friends or relatives you can for information

  • Send emails or social media messages to their email or profile

  • Check with the DMV, voter registry, and other public records offices

  • Hire a private investigator, if absolutely necessary

File the Divorce Petition

If you have exhausted your search options and still have not found your spouse, then their is one option left: Divorce by publication. The filing process is very similar to a regular divorce proceeding, except for a few things. Included in the regular paperwork is an application for a divorce by publication. To proceed with the divorce by publication, you must provide the court with the evidence of your extensive search.

If the judge accepts the proof of your search, they will grant you a divorce by publication. Then, the court will place an ad in the local newspaper in the area where your spouse is either believed to be or in your spouse’s last known location. The ad will be of the divorce summons, and will include all information about your case, including where your spouse should respond to the divorce summons.

The ad will run in the newspaper for a certain number of weeks, depending on which state the search is taking place. In California, the divorce by publication ad will run in the newspaper once a week for 4 weeks in a row. After the running of the ad, your spouse has 30 days to respond to the court regarding the divorce.

If the spouse does not respond within the grace period, you will be granted a default divorce. However, in California, the courts will not make judgements about any joint property, assets, or child-related matters.

Can I Use an Online Divorce Forms Service?

The divorce by publication process can be completed by an online divorce forms service, like, as long as the aforementioned steps are taken. However, it is advised to research the divorce by publication process in your specific state before beginning the divorce process.

Getting a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage |

covenant marriage divorce

If you’ve never heard of a covenant marriage, or if you know very little about covenant marriage, it’s probably because it is only offered in 3 states. Covenant marriages are offered in Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana, but the concept of the covenant marriage has been around for quite some time.

What is a Covenant Marriage?

A covenant marriage is different from a “regular” marriage because the couples in covenant marriages essentially waive their rights to a no-fault divorce. Covenant marriages are said to be more binding than regular marriages because they are based on covenants, not contracts.

A covenant is a solemn, usually religious, agreement, whereas a contract is a legal agreement. Proponents of covenant marriages believe “regular” marriages are contract-based marriages, which do not hold marriage as sacred and permanent an institution. Due to the deep religious affiliation covenant marriages have, covenant marriages have certain laws imposed upon them that make it difficult to divorce.

Guidelines of a Covenant Marriage

A covenant marriage requires couples to attend premarital counseling, and to fill out special covenant marriage paperwork. During the premarital counseling sessions, the couple is advised of the severity of committing to a lifelong marriage, the legal restrictions on divorce, and how to deal with marital issues.

The prospective spouses then must file an intent to enter into a covenant marriage. The intent (or declaration) involves a few documents that demonstrate both parties’ willingness to enter into a covenant of marriage. All this paperwork includes disclaimers about the stipulations of a covenant marriage, like the difficulties of divorcing out of a covenant marriage and more.

Divorce in Covenant Marriages

The first step in seeking a divorce in a covenant marriage is to seek marriage counseling. The covenant both parties agreed to when they wedded includes a clause about always seeking counseling should issues arise.

There are stringent divorce grounds in a covenant marriage; but since only three states offer the covenant marriage option, here are the specific grounds:

Arkansas: There are 4 grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery

  2. Conviction of a felony or serious crime

  3. Physical or sexual abuse of one of your children

  4. Living separate and apart for at least 2 years; living separate and apart for 2 years and 6 months, if there are children; or living separate and apart for at least 1 year if there has been a form of abuse

Arizona: There are 8 grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery

  2. Abandonment for 1 year or more

  3. Imprisonment or death sentence due to conviction of a felony

  4. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse

  5. Living separate and apart for 2 consecutive years

  6. Being legally separated for 1 year

  7. Substance and/or alcohol abuse

  8. Both spouses agree to the divorce

Louisiana: There are 5 grounds for divorce.

  1. Adultery

  2. Imprisonment or death sentence due to conviction of a felony

  3. Abandonment for 1 year or more

  4. Physical or sexual abuse

  5. Living separate and apart for 2 years; under legal separation, living separate and apart for 1 year, or 1 year and 6 months if there are children.

Women’s Divorce Rights: Progress in Uganda

skd284550sdcAlthough there are many circulating opinions regarding divorce in the U.S., we are lucky enough to have fair divorce laws in this country, whether you’re a man or woman. Until about a decade ago in Uganda, their law made it unfairly difficult and rare for a wife to initiate divorcing her husband, while letting husbands divorce wives quite easily. Now that Ugandan laws are changing, and representatives are standing up for the rights of women, the oppression of women in divorce is finally lifting.

Change of Law, Change of Heart

Cases of women initiating divorce in Uganda have been on the rise ever since 2004, when a court got rid of a sexist divorce law. The law allowed a man to swiftly divorce his wife merely upon proof of adultery, while a woman only had a case if she could prove her husband had committed sodomy, desertion, or bestiality.

Now women can file for divorce on account of abuse, adultery, or for any other matter in the marriage that lowers their quality of life. As a result, legal officials and activists report, the number of divorce cases overall has multiplied, showing how needful the unfair law repeal actually was.

Thanks to sympathetic Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, even more progressive changes may take effect within the year. Lawmakers are working to pass a law that would solidify men and women as equals within marriage, including making marital rape an offense, and securing equal distribution of property upon divorce.

Taking a Stand

Referring to how he likes to turn his courtroom into a classroom, Ugandan court magistrate David Batema pronounces,“[t]he major aim of the lesson should be to point out to the man that marriage, as of now, is a partnership of equals.”

Batema is a forward-thinking man who, among other activists and legal authorities, is admirably standing up for women, thereby helping to create a better, more egalitarian future. Many times during feminist revolutions like this one, oppressed women are the ones leading the way. It’s refreshing to see males stepping up to the plate, defending and empowering women.

Batema believes in protecting women’s freedom of choice, saying “that’s why in my career I have never refused to grant a divorce where one partner wants it,” he said. “Marriage is supposed to be voluntary.”

Confronting Stigma

Still lingering among traditionalist and church official thinking in the conservative, East African country is that the rise in divorce is shameful. What this kind of opinion disregards as unimportant is the overwhelming instances and likelihood of abuse from which these women are rightfully escaping.

As Maria Nassali, a family law teacher and activist, emphasizes, “[w]e need to kill the stigma associated with divorce. She’s not being selfish when she gets a divorce. She’s not being immoral. She just wants to be a human being.”

When a culture teaches and expects women to be submissive to their husbands, and disables them from making choices about their own well-being, the women are deprived of human rights. Thankfully, voices like Batema and Nassali’s are being heard, and the culture of female submission in Uganda is changing for the better.

Delaying Divorce: Delaying the Inevitable?

57441057The sadness and emotional stress the divorce process involves makes it tempting to delay a divorce, perhaps permanently. The question anyone who is contemplating divorce would benefit from asking themselves is this: “Am I just delaying the inevitable?” It is a tough question no one can answer but one spouse or the other. If the answer is “yes,” then delayment means staying in a marriage that is in a constant state of turmoil in favor of putting off the other, more temporary, turmoil of cutting the marriage ties.

There are a few clues that point to the reality of imminent divorce, the basic one being that you are utterly miserable on a daily basis. That’s a pretty good sign. Otherwise, coming to the decision to divorce can be confusing and daunting. It’s usually time to divorce when you are preoccupied with the constant thought of doing it, and all attempts at convincing yourself or your spouse to change things have failed.

Lost, Desperate Causes

Sometimes grim reality is hard to face. But as soon as you face and accept difficult things, the quicker you’ll be able to do something about them and move forward. This philosophy is what therapist Abby Rodman incorporates in her article chronicling common cycles in which partners delaying divorce find themselves entrapped. Here are a couple to look out for:

Trying to Change Your Spouse’s Mind

We’d all love to have the superhuman power of magically changing someone’s perspective or feelings regarding a long-standing issue, whether it be the story of how your marriage went wrong, or whether divorcing is the right thing to do. The tough reality of this kind of push-pull situation, Rodman explains, is that it doesn’t work. Emotional stances that serious rarely, if ever, convert to the other side of the argument. So taking months or even years to attempt this feat is unnecessary delayment.

Pushing the Blame

Another type of counterproductive attempt at persuasion is fighting to determine the blame of the relationship’s approaching demise. Part of escaping this trap is taking responsibility for mutual blame. As Rodman says, “You’ve both played a role in the disintegration of the marriage. In the end, does it really matter who shoulders the blame?” Arguing over a faulty, biased claim like blameworthiness is never-ending and definitely doesn’t solve anything.

The Choice is Yours

A main piece of invaluable advice when residing in the limbo of divorce that’s possibly looming on the horizon, is to follow your heart. As cheesy as that may sound, it’s the key to staying true to yourself. Only you know the day to day reality of your marriage and how it’s affecting your livelihood. If the thought of filing for divorce repeatedly haunts your mind, it must be for good reasons. Trust yourself and the life you want your future to hold.

What do our readers think? What do you believe are the clear, tell-tale signs that divorce is the right decision?

Why People Cheat: 6 Common Reasons

why people cheatSurprisingly, cheating happens more often than you might expect in cases of do it yourself divorce, particularly when the parties have been together for less than five years. Most spouses in that situation simply like to cut their losses and move on with life. When the couple has been together for quite some time, however, they have the opportunity to amass greater amounts of property together, thus making complex divorce proceedings more prevalent. There may also be children involved and a greater unwillingness to part ways because of the emotional history.

While it’s not the biggest reason people file for divorce — finances are — infidelity is still a major contributor to the dissolution of a marriage. When it happens, there is almost no coming back from it. The bonds of trust are gone indefinitely, and unless the cheating partner is truly regretful and throws himself (or herself) 100 percent into being transparent, then the marriage might as well end immediately.

While statistics are hard to prove on how often it occurs — after all, it’s a hard thing for many people to admit — the reasons are far more traceable. Here are six of the most common:

  • A history of cheating. If it’s happened once before — as in before marriage or in other committed relationships the spouse had before he married you — then he’s likely to do it again. This is probably true in most of the DIY divorce cases that we see involving infidelity.
  • Substance abuse problems. Drunkenness is often cited as a reason people take part in one night stands. For longer affairs, this excuse is a harder sell. While we suppose it’s possible liquor can make individuals do things they wouldn’t have otherwise done in a state of sobriety, it’s still not a good reason to turn the other cheek. After all, if substance abuse makes a spouse cheat once, it’ll probably happen more often.
  • Age differences. Many a middle-aged man going through a mid-life crisis has been guilty of engaging in a physical and emotional relationship with a partner several years younger. These relationships almost always end badly because, many times, it’s the thrill of the hunt and the material comfort that attracts a younger spouse to the relationship. Once the new wears off and the “honeymoon stage” is over, the younger spouse finds out they don’t have as much in common as originally thought.
  • Mental or emotional issues. If there is an unresolved or traumatic issue in a partner’s past, then he or she is likely to “seek therapy” in the arms of another person.
  • Long distance relationships. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say, but too much of it can make the heart forget. When a couple only sees one another once a week or month, it’s far too easy to stray.
  • Unresolved relationship conflicts. If you’re the type of couple, who never fights, look out! Relationships require some conflict for one spouse to continue looking upon another as an individual. When a spouse can see your convictions in action, they tend to respect who you are as a person more thoroughly. Unfortunately, many couples avoid conflict and allow themselves to drift apart. When that happens, they often forget why it was the marriage occurred in the first place, and one or both are more likely to cheat.

Have you experienced cheating in a relationship or marriage? Which of these factors do you feel was most to blame?