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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Christie Brinkley's Divorce Tactics

Recently, I appeared on TV Guide again to discuss Christie Brinkley's divorce tactics. Apparently, she is determined to air Peter Cook's dirty laundry. That begs the question - Why?

In a divorce case, does infidelity play a role? The answer turns on fault v. no-fault divorce, which this article shall discuss.

First thing to know: California is a no-fault state. ("But why are there so many earthquakes?!", interjects my witty and incredibly handsome husband).

Seriously now: No-fault, in legal terms, means that a dissolution of a marriage (divorce) does not require a showing wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all. In the olden days, Judges would only grant a divorce upon a showing that one of the parties committed some type of wrongdoing: adultery, abuse, abandonment, etc. If the Judge decided that the alleged wrongdoer didn't commit the wrongful acts, the divorce would be rejected.

Because of these strict requirements, married couples who had absolutely committed no wrongs, but were just sick of being married to each other, would begin to lie about who committed faults in order to obtain a divorce. In 1950, the most popular allegation for grounds of divorce was "cruelty", apparently cited by 70% of divorce cases. So, things begin to change. In the 1960's, proponents argued that the law should adapt by providing a straightforward procedure for ending a marriage, rather than forcing a couple who couldn't get along to choose between living together in "marital hell" or lying under oath in open court.

So our wonderfully innovative of State of California, in 1970, pioneered the first "no-fault" divorce, signed in by Ronald Reagan.

I conducted cursory research on this topic, and discovered that now, in 49 states, there is an option of no-fault divorce. New York is the only state that remains strictly fault.

That may help explain Christie Brinkley's determination to air the lurid details of her husband's affair. Arguably not, because everyone already knows about that, and the grounds for a divorce have already been established.