If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been super-excited to see the movie Divorce Corp since I found out about it a few weeks ago. Initially, I was planning a 2.5 hour road trip to see the film at the closest location. Thankfully, due to popular demand (probably thanks to Dr. Drew’s interview on CNN), it opened in a nearby theater and I was able to see the movie last night.
Divorce Corp takes a painful look at the way we typically handle divorce in the US. Through interviews with lawyers, judges, custody evaluators and victims of the system, viewers are introduced to the intricate (and rather disturbing) workings of the money-making machine that is Family Court. I don’t want to give away all of the movie, but here are a few notes that I jotted down while watching:
- The average cost of a divorce in the US is $50,000.
- Family Court has different rules than Criminal Court. In Family Court, the constitution does not apply, and previous US Supreme Court rulings on parental rights are frequently disregarded.
- Attorneys are free to contribute to judge’s campaigns; thus gaining favor for their clients in the courtroom.
- Judges can and do rule however they prefer. This could mean denying a fit parent access to his/her children, ordering the liquidation of assets to satisfy court costs or jail time.
- Custody evaluators often work for the parent who hired them, not the best interest of the children.
- In the past 20 years, court-ordered support payments have increased 30% while the divorce rate has decreased and women are earning more money.
- At one point in the film, a lawyer referred to children of divorcing parents as “little bags of money.”
The film tackles topics such as child support, false abuse allegations and the billing process (click on the links to see snippets from the movie). The viewing experience was a horrifically eye-opening hour and a half. The interviews are thought-provoking. The visual presentation is simple and disturbing. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize it was that bad. It has never been so clear: we must change the way we think about and approach divorce. I only wish the filmmakers had spent some time showcasing the healthier options available to divorcing couples.
Divorce Corp is scheduled to be in select theaters for the next few days. I highly recommend seeing it with your ex, your soon-to-be-ex, your happy spouse and/or anyone who knows anyone who is/was/might someday be divorced.