Amazingly, 1979 came back to life in the last few weeks. Yes, a popular magazine started complaining that getting divorced is too easy, they did so in 1979 also when the Divorce Act changed. Now, it is extremely foolish thinking when you pause and look at facts surrounding divorce worldwide. Most marriages will fail and a second one even quicker than the first one and obviously this concerns many, including reverends and none-too-bright journalists or sellers of magazines. But should it?
Back in 1979 the Divorce Act changed the ways to get divorced considerably, from then on you did not need to prove whose fault it was that the marriage is now gone beyond repair. The usual cause then as now was money (yes, no such thing as love without money, mostly, I am cynical). And then adultery (a crime then) and hard to forgive. There was also a shameful element about divorce which thankfully is not there anymore. In those days, being divorced was kept quiet and many women suffered years of abuse first when she stayed married (then like now the reasons are “for the sake of the children” and “money” although the last is kept quiet) and when she finally gets divorced, she is (now also) seen as an easy target for most men. A loose woman if you wish and one which is easy to get in bed, she is, after all, housebroken or so the theory goes. It is all crap, obviously. She is not and neither are all divorced men guilty, some are actually victims here.
The law knows that you cannot force people to love and cherish each other. Sadly, people grow apart or get plain loathsome or something happens and the marriage is gone and the law is pragmatic, it deals with worse cases. The law understands divorce, a lot better than most. These days the courts only want to know three things to grant an order of divorce, (1) Were you actually married? And you must give evidence, a marriage certificate. (2) This marriage, did it break down to such an extent that it cannot be saved? And you must show you tried to save it, saw your reverend, saw a phycologist etc. (3) What happens now to the children and the estate and that is where most become idiots.
Get this, the more you argue in court, about who gets the dog, the bedsheets and God knows what else, the more money the attorney makes out of your stupidity. The children are seldom a major obstacle, with the passing decades we know exactly what the court will grant and what not and you can bet your last penny they will not change their views easily for you. So the fight is all about money and nothing else and people get ridiculous. A divorce should never not be settled and remember always - a good settlement is where not one of the parties are happy! Yes, then I am most happy, it means justice took place, give and take and so it is. If only you are happy you either did not get what the attorney explained to you (the second greatest complaint against them, first is not answering calls) or you somehow did your former soul in and he or she is going to take revenge, it is human nature.
Now I don’t want to get too deep on the technicalities of life, you can read my free book called “The Circle of Life” where we talk about birth, betrothal, marriage, divorce and death and it is worth reading. Tens of thousands of others read it as my legal books are not text books, they are actually interesting and easy to understand. I have a knack to explain law, to me it is easy. What we want to discuss here is the alternative the reverends and none-too-bright journalists or sellers of magazines did not think about – what happens if you don’t get divorced?
Well, let me say as starters, I believe in love and I am romantic once you get to know me and unless you are female and middle-aged, you will never see my romantic side, my word, you won’t. I don’t like the idea of divorce having been there twice and I know the tears and anguish and I do regret each marriage that did not work, I mean I regret they ended like that. But since then I also got to experience soul mate love and I even wrote a book on that too, yes, Better Men and I can tell you, day and night. No way I will settle for any other type of love ever again, it is either a soul or it is not and then I know it cannot work for me and it should not work for her. Why? Because two souls will hunt each other down and they will find each other and you cannot prevent that and you will know, hear my words, you will know when your soul grabs you. Therefore, I feel the changes in the law, in 1979, was needed. You cannot stay married if unhappy, being abused and worse, denying yourself, your partner and you own soul, happiness. Think of it as follows – if you know your wife can easily get a divorce and she can, should you not then behave properly?
Yeah think about that one. If it is easy for her to leave you, you should ensure she does not wish to leave and how do you do that? Well, the two rules of love I also wrote about (1) You will never do anything to hurt her and (2) you will do whatever to keep her happy and it is that simple. Getting drunk with your mates? Eish, breaking both rules now. Getting abusive? Eish, breaking both rules now. Taking your mom’s side? Eish, breaking both rules now. And so I can classify every reason for divorce, the two rules of love got broken and after a while, you are another statistic. Being easy to divorce? A good thing, it should keep you honest.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.