It’s almost an afterthought. We think of the child victims. We think of the lives ruined by his conduct. And when the media gets to the part about his wife filing for divorce, it’s as if it’s just naturally the final piece. But it’s truly a complete story within itself. His family is changed forever. Their lives are changed. But hopefully divorce can offer relief. It can offer the emotional relief of not being legally tied to him, but it can offer financial relief as well. And there are so many angles to this dilemma. For instance, when he pays his restitution or penalty to the victims of $100,000.00 apiece, isn’t that reducing the marital estate? How do we balance what is fair for his family with what is fair amount to the victims?
And no two situations are alike. We have seen spouses standing by their spouse, even after terrible conduct; think Ray Rice. But the point is that spouses have an option. They can move on into a new life. Yes their life is tarnished and made more difficult, but they have a new future to create. Some will resent them for being associated with such a criminal, while others will be sympathetic and supportive. But taking that first step, changing your life from married to single (or divorced) is a huge step. Anyone who has gone through it knows this to be true, no matter what the basis for the change is. And sometimes in fact, bad conduct like this makes the decision easier. Some would argue that there really is no decision to make; he made the decision for everyone. And can you imagine a court being anything other than sympathetic to her? Similar to the Tiger Woods case. She likely got a great settlement because he knew no judge would have sympathy for him. Same thing will likely happen in this case. The wife and kids are the “other” victims. And they should be and will be protected.
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