Thursday, August 11, 2005

V is for Voluntary Execution -aka- Wax Fruit:

It always bothered me as a young child when while visiting someone, you would see, placed like an offering for you to enjoy, a bowl of fruit or a dish of candy… …and upon attempting to sample same, you would discover, to your horror, it was wax, or plastic, or paste, or some such. I suppose we have all had similar experiences with things that aren’t what they seem (our first marriages, perhaps). One of the boilerplate clauses that we all have to kowtow to in divorce is much like that, one that is usually known as ‘Voluntary Execution’.

Voluntary Execution. You can sense in its name that this is not a good thing, can’t you? Voluntary Execution. It is not entirely dissimilar to the ‘Work Will Make You Free’ pronouncement executed (there’s that word again) over the entrance to Auschwitz. (Please, if you don’t know what Auschwitz is, or was, go look it up. (Try here... I can wait...) Where was I – Oh, right ‘Voluntary Execution’, not entirely unlike the false pronouncement ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’, ‘Voluntary Execution’ is a slogan which in divorce you must pass under and make lip service to (required to pay lip service to BY LAW, I should add), but which is fundamentally a lie:


The Wife and Husband each acknowledge that each is entering into this Agreement of her and his own accord and without coercion or pressure of any kind; that all the provisions of this Agreement, as well as all questions pertinent thereto, have been fully and satisfactorily explained to them; that each has given due consideration to such provisions and questions, and understands them clearly; that the settlement embodied in this Agreement is in all respects acceptable to each, being consistent with the income and assets of the parties, and ample for their reasonable needs; and that accordingly each consents to all the provisions hereof.

It sounds bad enough when you read it, but I don’t think the true horror of this pithy wee paragraph sinks in until much later, until you discover how tightly wrapped you are, until you find yourself drowning, and discover that the court system is placing additional burdens upon you, instead of helping you out of the deep water you are in. Let me add at this point that every New Jersey divorce must have a paragraph like this, for good (hm bad word, howabout ‘for a logical’) reason.


p.s. My apologies to anyone offended by the concentration camp reference. Support-paying individuals in NJ are not treated anywhere near as badly, nor are as restricted in their freedoms, nor are as likely to die as the concentration camp victims. But we have been singled out and deprived of rights, and the proceeds of our work, partly due to our gender, and we are very persecuted, this persecution lasting often until our deaths, and attaching to our estates after us.

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