Bill and Melinda Gates getting a divorce

Ideally marriage (and separately, parenthood) would be limited only to people qualified to do the job well. Fat chance ever making that happen.

If we somehow did make marriage hard to get, many hetero couples would be forced into a twilight zone akin to what the gay folks put up with for so many years: A committed relationship under a variety of names without the benefit of official recognition. Which is all sorts of wrong as a practical matter. Thank goodness we’ve mostly come to our senses and let the willing gay folks get the full legal recognition they deserve. Taking that away from anyone now would be be a step backwards.

Forcing large numbers of would-be married couples into those sorts of “halfway house” arrangements would not do anyone any good. The cure would almost certainly be worse than the disease.

Interestingly, AIUI, New Zealand does it the opposite way. If you cohabit for 6 months, you are legally married. No ceremony, no license, but the couple has transitioned legally into the exact same status as the more traditional civil and/or church wedding / marriage.

Which is all about recognizing that as people spend more of their lives together, they develop common obligations to the world and to each other whether they want or like that or not.

[quote=“Kron, post:35, topic:941379, full:true”]

I don’t know—are you “many people”?

I assumed that laws regarding divorce were the kind of thing that varied from state to state, and sometimes got changed over time, and I wondered how widespread the problem of divorce being “too difficult and expensive for many people” really was.

I also assumed, perhaps naively, that much of the difficulty and expense arose in connection with determining the fate of things like community property and children, and I’m not sure how to make that easy or instantaneous.

But I don’t know much about it at all, which is why I would have liked a cite of some kind.

When I got divorced it was pretty easy. My ex-wife and I got along just fine, she just didn’t want to be married anymore and I didn’t want to fight it, so that was that. We both agreed she should have custody of our daughter but she didn’t mind me visiting whenever as long as we arranged it ahead of time. We didn’t have a lot in terms of assets, we had different bank accounts, and she didn’t want or need to take much with her when she left and I didn’t object to the few things she took. I had to pay spousal support for a number of years (standard in my state, Washington) and I agreed to child support (not only did I not mind but I want my daughter taken care of properly). It was pretty smooth.

My wife did have to hire a lawyer but I don’t think it cost that much. This may not be the same in every state but in our state it wasn’t too bad. The only hard part about the divorce was the emotional part. Well, that and I couldn’t afford the mortgage on the house I was left with in addition to new child and spousal support and ended up having to foreclose, but that wasn’t the end of the world.

It’s not always a nightmare. We definitely didn’t have that much money (I certainly made a lot less then than I do now). I imagine it would only be expensive if we fought and needed to hire lawyers to settle a dispute rather than make sure the formalities were properly followed.

I bet Melinda switched to a Linux computer. That’s what did it.

It’s not a snarky one-liner. It’s a genuine question and a genuine point. It is a claim you make that can and should be evaluated and judged independent from whatever else you said, which certainly doesn’t support this one sentence. You said we can’t. I want you to look deeper into that assertion why can’t we? It’s no different than making a claim that we can’t normalise same-sex marriages or interracial marriages or monogamy or polygamy. Can you not conceive of a society where divorce is normalised? Such as Ancient Rome, for example?

Again, not a snarky one-liner. But rather a prompt for you to think about what you said more critically and more seriously. I am encouraging you to do better.

Both should be easy. Government and society should allow for easy transitions in living arrangements.

I guess when I think about it, my views are not that dissimilar to yours. It shouldn’t cost a fortune and take a 12-18 months to finalize a divorce but it’s probably too easy to get married. Whether the government should impose artificial hurdles is another matter.

Women! Off looking for someone richer. Jeff, watch it, Man!

I personally think people having kids before they are mature/responsible enough for the task, is the real elephant in the room. A childless couple unqualified for marriage may contaminate their social connections with their fights and drama, but ultimately the effects are more or less localized to adults who should be able to handle it.

On the other hand, if an unqualified and/or abusive couple has kids, that is quite the disaster for both their children and society, of which their children will enter without having the requisite life skills and behaviors of a typical “good citizen”.

Like you implied though, forcing couples to undergo vetting before they are allowed to have children opens a whole new can of worms, and is currently a political impossibility.

Oh, you so funny. Ha ha.

Dan Savage has this brilliant rant about how stupid it is that we only regard a marriage as successful if it ends in death. Never mind if a union ends amicably with the participants having no regrets; never mind if it produced happy, well-adjusted children, or some other public good like a multi-billion dollar philanthropic organization. If you divorced, you failed. If you openly loathed each other but white-knuckled through until one of you dropped dead, to the other’s great relief as well as that of everyone tired of your bickering? Success! Right?

Here’s hoping Bill and Melinda enjoy their marriage’s unconventional success.

Really? This joke is about exactly 2 people on the face of the planet. And neither of them care.

Actually, it was misogyny and that isn’t funny. Ha ha.

Pez. Good Candy!

Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Scott have had their own joint philanthropic endeavor, aimed at improving opportunities for women in STEM, for quite some time now. Google “Equality Can’t Wait” for more information.

Last Week Tonight had a bit about this - the Gateses were asked about whether Bill was microchipping people via the vaccine and Melinda, laughing, responded that “that technology hasn’t been developed yet” and “I’ve never heard Bill say that he was doing that”.

Which, as John Oliver pointed out, wasn’t really a “no”. It was a weird thing to say, and Bill looked quite uncomfortable about it.

N.B. I’m not saying, nor do I believe, that Bill Gates is microchipping people. It was just an odd moment.

Marriage is deeper than governments. Marriage is about forming a single economic unit. Breaking up an economic unit is usually inherently messy. A married couple are not roommates who have sex. They own things together. They made joint decisions based on maximizing the partnership’s goals. There needs to be a system to fairly disentangle all that. That’s why term-limited marriages wouldn’t work as a default system: when the “term” expired, you’d have to divide the stuff, and you’d disagree, and you’d need a judge to resolve the dispute and wow, we are right back at complicated divorce.

If someone wanted to form a relationship where there was no economic mingling, it would be possible to do so, and divorce would, in fact, be easy. But it’s neither possible nor desirable to mandate such a thing, or to legally ignore that a marriage is an economic unit. The reality is, there are huge advantages to being able to work as a unit: two potential incomes creates greater economic stability. It allows one partner to pursue a higher risk/higher reward career path while the other one follows a more stable path; it allows one person to focus on family life while the other focuses on earning income; it provides a safety net if one partner is incapacitated. You can’t just tell people not to live like that, to economically always be roommates who have sex.

Marriage law doesn’t create the difficulty of dissolving these units. It acknowledges that it is a inherent complication of how families work, and addresses it. And this doesn’t even touch on issues of minor children.

I’m fine with the existence of cheap DIY divorce processes for those couples that can agree. However, the vast majority of the time, I don’t think that would help much.

I’ve seen answers like Melinda’s on cop shows, where the detective waits for the suspect to finish their awkward laughing, and there’s a beat of silence, then he says “I’m still waiting for an answer to the question.”

“That technology hasn’t been developed yet” is a no to whether it’s being done now - which was the question.

It was a stupid way for her to answer the question. Yes, the idea of microchipped vaccines is also stupid, but surely she knows better than to answer like that. And given their extreme wealth and power, surely not the first crazy conspiracy theory about them.