The Truth - the Winning Argument for Your Case

14 May. 2012

Divorce Meltdown

Posted By The Buncher Law Corporation

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," wrote the English playwright, William Congreve in his play, The Mourning Bride.

And speaking of the fury of a woman scorned, who can easily forget Betty Broderick versus her adulterous husband Dan Broderick? Although it happened almost 20 years ago, the story still resonates with anybody with knowledge of how badly a divorce can go. To be certain, the Broderick case is an epic example of cruelty and self-inflicted tragedy. One wonders how two adults could voluntarily engage in such a lengthy, complex and acrimonious divorce; one so vicious that it gained national notoriety as the ugliest of ugly divorces and eventually ended with a tragic murder of Dan Broderick and his second wife.

The erstwhile Mrs. Broderick claimed Battered Women's Syndrome. She got as far as a second trial (the first one ended in a hung jury) and is now serving 32 years in California Institution for Woman in Corona, California.

The truth is there are many ugly divorces. An injured party will seek redemption in a court system that will eventually find their cheating husband or wife at fault for the dissolution of their marriage and the demise of their happiness. But thankfully, few ever reach the tumult of the Broderick case.

It's astounding how many people do not realize that California is a "No Fault" divorce state. What this means is that the spouse asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong. Nor does the court system punish in any way the party in a divorce who has an affair with less property or more pay support because of the affair.

Instead, the court will divide all community property 50-50. The State Bar of California has an online pamphlet entitled What Should I know about Divorce and Custody. This is a great start at educating yourself on Divorce in California.

For a deeper read on the Broderick case, I recommend Bryna Taubman's book Hell Hath No Fury (2004, ISBN 0312929382) for an up-close perspective on Ms Broderick's defense or Bella Stumbo's Until the Twelfth of Never (1993, ISBN 0671726668) for a more balanced reflection on the entire case.

Categories: Divorce, Family Law, Mediation
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