Recently, Steven Crowder an American conservative commentator released a video about his divorce. Something he’s secretly been dealing with since 2021. In the video, he makes it clear that the divorce is not his idea and he doesn’t support it. He says in part, “My then-wife decided that she didn’t want to be married anymore and in the state of Texas, that is completely permitted… In Texas divorce is permitted when one party wants it period…. She simply wanted out and the law says that’s how it works.”
Many people rightly pointed out that he was upset more by the fact that his wife could legally divorce him without his permission or input and just because she wanted it. Women haven’t always had the right to file for divorce and even when they did, they always had to prove fault. It wasn’t enough in the words of Steven Crowder that you just “want out.”
Kenya still follows the at-fault system which requires the person filing to prove that their spouse did something which resulted in the failure of the marriage. Here’s why the no-fault divorce is better, and Kenya should move to it.
Benefits of no-fault divorce
The whole reason societies choose at-fault divorce is that it introduces hurdles to leaving your marriage. It’s supposed to make it difficult to leave your marriage. You can’t just end a marriage because it’s no longer beneficial to you or because you just want out. Introducing these needless obstructions to leaving can make people continue to stay in terrible relationships.
Already society pressures women in particular to fight for their marriages, to stay even when things are terrible so when a woman finally gathers the courage to walk away and the government insists on this needless hindrance, the only people who suffer are women.
It is rooted in misogyny and patriarchal beliefs that seek to limit women’s freedom and keep them tied to and dependent on men. Marriage as it exists benefits men more than it does women which is why the highest number of divorce filers are women. Since the introduction of no-fault divorce provisions, divorce applications have soared by 50% in the UK.
Less acrimonious, more humane
Having to prove that your partner engaged in activities that broke your marriage can lead to intense acrimony which isn’t just bad for the couple but can be devastating when there are children involved. It can stoke fires further, encouraging needless hostility just to walk away from a relationship.
Allowing people to leave without resorting to hurting each other further is more humane. It protects the filer’s humanity by not forcing them to be hostile and protects the other party from being subjected to that. Plus, it saves them from having to air their dirty laundry or expose their private affairs in public in a court of law. Divorce is hard enough without having to sacrifice your sense of privacy as it is.
A no-fault divorce is also more humane because it allows people to immediately begin to go on with their lives without holding them hostage in some endless process requiring them to jump through hoops like proving they’ve been separated for two years or something.
It’s a way for governments and societies to exercise illegitimate control over their adult citizens, limiting your freedom to conduct your life as you please. If you want to end your marriage, you shouldn’t have to justify your reason to a judge and prove anything to them.
Most hurdles to ending marriages are rooted in patriarchy and religious traditions. Structuring laws based on the religious beliefs of a segment of the population is illiberal. No-fault divorce is the only option that makes sense in a society that values freedom.
Saves time and money
A no-fault divorce is not drawn out and full of acrimonious back and forth which means it saves time and money. This can also help reduce the emotional and financial toll of the divorce process. The only people who benefit from a long-drawn-out process are lawyers and patriarchal apologists who are nostalgic for the way things were when women didn’t have all these rights and freedoms. The bad news for them is they better get used to this; we’re only moving towards more freedom from here on out.
The alternative is worse
When divorce is made difficult or impossible, people resort to extreme measures as exhibited by what women did in the past when divorce was not available to them.
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