Married in Vegas, Divorced at Home Depot


Here's a marriage promotion plan to warm the hearts of straight-partnerships-are-doomed types: Make divorce proceedings so byzantine that couples can't even figure out whether they've done the deed. The L.A. Times reports that can-do couples are adopting a "Home Depot philosophy" about the whole process. And screwing it up:

Driven by rising legal fees, a shortage of legal aid lawyers and a do-it-yourself philosophy, about 80% of people in California handle their own divorces, according to court officials.

Many of them are not quite as divorced as they think they are. Some of them…are even accidental bigamists, carrying not only hopes and dreams but also an earlier marriage to their new one.

At one legal services center in Van Nuys, officials say they see 20 people a month who incorrectly thought they were divorced.

Seems like that whole "do it yourself" approach wouldn't be as much of a problem if the process were simple enough for people to, uh, do it themselves. Analysts in the article instead blame a shortage of legal aid for the poor, the workings of the government being so opaque that government-provided lawyers are crucial to understanding them.