The Designer Divorce
May 17th, 2010 by Christina

Anytime you become a member of one of life’s many clubs, you’re introduced to new terminology. When you’re planning a wedding, you start tossing around terms like registry and flatware. Parenthood brings forth birth plan and lactation consultant. In the divorce zone, the lingo includes custody, mediator, and spousal support (that last one sounds like an uncomfortable device you might have to learn to live with after an operation, doesn’t it?)

Well, I was thinking recently about some of these terms and how one might want to customize them to suit one’s particular needs. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Joint Custody of Unpleasant Things. It’s easy enough to divvy up the days of the week and alternate important holidays with your spouse-turned-co-parent, but doing it that way is so random and risky. Either one of you could end up unwillingly accompanying one of your children to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, or amusing them on a snow day, based solely on whose day it happens to be. Instead, I like the idea of a more personalized approach to custody. For example: I take the kids when they have fevers or respiratory ailments, but R gets anything involving a malfunctioning digestive system. R would probably prefer not to be on-duty for either girl’s first period—so, fine, I’ll take that along with bra shopping if he agrees to field any questions about the male reproductive system. You get the idea.
  • Mediator/Couple’s Therapist Who Admits She Likes You Better. Recently, a few of my pals who’ve done couple’s therapy shared a few tales. One guy said he probably would have stayed in his marriage if their therapist had just admitted that his wife was, indeed, wrong about one specific thing. We all totally got that. While the attempted neutrality of marital professionals is admirable, who are they kidding? They’re human, after all. In any triangle situation, someone’s the odd man or woman out even if he or she doesn’t know it. I, for one, could tell early on that our therapist knew which one of us was right about absolutely everything, and it’s so clear that our mediator feels the same way. Thank goodness I know how to interpret those subtle winks and facial gestures.

I wanted to come up with a third thing in this vein, but I couldn’t. So it’s your turn. What’s your personal fantasy twist on the customs of separation and divorce?

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4 Responses  
angeloubouvier writes:
May 18th, 2010 at 11:13 am

well sans the visitaion/ custody awkwardness, the rest of divorce is far easier.
But I have questions anyway; Why do 90% of the people in family court seem like they are applying for food stamps or filing a restraining order ?
Why are there so many not so perfect parents pretending to be great parents? (outside this select grouping of parents)
I can recall a friend who was divorced for 10 years and her teen daughter (who she had custody of) said succinctly” why do I have to see Dad every Wednesday, I can’t do it anymore”
The mother, my friend said “you just have to”
The teen was 17 and miserable.
I never understood that and still don’t.
It might be nice if everyone that got divorced acted cool but sweet like the Easter Bunny or Lady Ga Ga .

angeloubouvier writes:
May 18th, 2010 at 11:18 am

Oh no, my spell check was on visitation vacation.
I meant visitation, like when you visit someone.

angeloubouvier writes:
May 18th, 2010 at 11:39 am

Per my earlier comment today…

Father Accused of Trying to Swap Baby for Beers
by Associated Press May 18th 2010 9:45AM

CHICOPEE, Mass. (AP) – Authorities say a Massachusetts man offered to give his 3-month-old daughter to a maintenance man outside a gas station convenience store in exchange for a pair of 40-ounce beers.

Chicopee police say 24-year-old Matthew Brace of Northampton made the offer on Monday. The maintenance man called police, who found Brace hiding with the girl behind a trash container.

State child welfare officials took the baby into custody.

Police say Brace was not arrested but will be summoned to court to face a charge of reckless endangerment of a child. A phone number for him could not immediately be found.

The child’s mother was in the store at the time buying cigarettes. She has not been charged.

Jennifer Fink writes:
May 19th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

No additions to your list (yet!), but I simply love Joint Custody of Unpleasant Things!


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