Quarterbacking a Card Game

Plus, away from the mixed metaphor: "As judges know, it costs almost nothing to begin a marriage .... The court system should seek ways to shrink the cost of ending a failed marriage."

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

From Irizarry v. Hayes, a New York trial court decision refusing to void a mediated divorce agreement:

To vacate this agreement and void the mediated plan agreed to years ago, would usher the court into the true role of a Monday morning quarterback, reshuffling the monetary cards in this long voided marriage, re-opening the personal and psychological wounds that accompany divorce disputes and foisting new costs into a marriage that ended two years ago. As judges know, it costs almost nothing to begin a marriage — a low fee license and a gratuity to the officiant (maybe). The court system should seek ways to shrink the cost of ending a failed marriage. Mediation, as in this case, is one of those preferred ways.

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  1. And, besides, most judges feel they already have too many back-logged cases to decide. So, why re-open one that was supposedly settled years ago? A no-brainer, if there ever was one.

    1. Tall Paul: A plausible theory, but you have to frame it using a sports or game metaphor.

      1. I knew it! I knew there were rules, and I knew I was being kept in the dark! I knew it! Hmmm, cellars are dark, and shoddy baseball teams are known for being in the cellar. Is that close enough?

      2. Instant replay ruined baseball and should not be expanded to matrimony?

      3. OK. Why draw a card, when you already have a royal flush?

  2. “The court system should seek ways to shrink the cost of ending a failed marriage.”

    Let’s not concede this too hastily. The costs of ending a marriage, failed or not, fall mostly on the rest of society, not on the two former spouses, regardless of what courts decide. Much of that cost is for the operation of the courts themselves. Perhaps the court system should not find ways to facilitate the dissolution of marriage, but should discourage it.

    1. Agreed.

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