Posts Tagged ‘ Divorce ’

Split Decision: Future Following Divorce


Recently I had the pleasure of attending a meet-up for divorced and separated people held at a new hip bar “Goldberg’s” in Cork. The meet-up is run by the “effervescent” Jan O’Connor. Jan has been separated for a couple of years and having tried a few online dating sites she came to the same conclusion many divorced and separated people do- these sites are often expensive, cold and impersonal!
Having done her research Jan happened upon the idea of creating a meet-up that would cater specifically to the needs of divorced & separated singles rather than singles in general.

Feeling a bit disingenuous as I am married I decided to have Jan tell the group why I was there. Admittedly, I felt odd at first as I pondered the many stories that led to the breakup of each marriage/ partnership. However, I soon realised this could be me or anyone for that matter! As the evening progressed I met an array of interesting, vibrant people (mainly women). The group is actively encouraging more men to attend but so far the male response has been slow to build. I guess for men it’s somewhat easier to transition from marital status to “single again” status as it is not unusual to see a single guy on his own in a bar having a drink no matter what age. The same however cannot be said for women. After several conversations it occurred to me that “single again”women regardless of finances, education or profession often find themselves bereft of friends to socialise with. This however doesn’t mean that men don’t feel the loss of friendship and companionship marriage provides, it’s just that they don’t seem to face the same social stigma whilst flying solo. Continue reading

Tomkat Reach Divorce Settlement

It’s old news now that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have decided to part ways, with Katie intending sole custody of their only daughter, six year old, Suri. Who’d blame her? With the poor child destined for a Scientology bootcamp.

Katie’s attorney slipped this snippet today; “The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed. We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life. We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution.” No details of the actual settlement have been released though.

I guess Tom’s used to this lark at this stage, this is divorce number three. And of course there’s the odd coincidences regarding his previous wives ages (all being 33 when they reached their end-of marriage)…

Reports have also stated that Katie was not being followed by Scientology spies, although this has prompted her to fire her security team blaming their ties with her now ex-husband.

Both Tom and Katie released a joint statement ensuring the world that they are “committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests…” But of course they are.

News in Brief-Ulster Bank and Centra in Trouble As Burglary Victim Forced To Pick Gardai Up

A priceless piece of art in the National Gallery has been damaged in an isolated incident. The only work by Claude Monet owned by the National is now having repairs to a hole made in it by forty-seven year old Andrew Shannon from Dublin. Details are still unclear as to what was done to the painting or why but one thing is certain the work, ‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat’ won’t be worth much Monet anymore!

      Centra have had a slap of the wrist after including an alcohol offer on an advertisement for Child Allowance day reductions. The company was criticised for appearing to suggest forty bottles of Budweiser were the best thing to buy with your benefits as 1 in 11 children in Ireland live with a parent with an alcohol problem.
        Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power said, “Centra’s cynical promotion is insulting to parents who are struggling to pay for the basics and certainly won’t be spending their money on beer.” But the cake, ice-cream and biscuits also part of the advertisement are presumably the kind of necessities that are top of their lists? Specially as 1 in five Irish children are obese. Two for one on fags I say! Buy a gun, get one free! No?
Fancy some government debt? Try eBay. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has done particularly well at auction selling off €500 million in short-term government debt. The bills sold, reach maturity in October, no interest is paid on them and the government must pay them in full when they reach maturity. Noonan called the sale a, “very important milestone on Ireland’s continuing path to recovery”. I just hope he understands it more than I do.
       A quick round of applause for Ulster Bank Chief Executive, Jim Brown who has said he will turn down this year’s bonus after the unmitigated disaster that has been Ulster Bank’s computer problems. Thanks Jim.
And while we’re at it one for An Post. They spectacularly spent €80,000 on eight Italian-made Cargo scooters for use on Dublin’s mail routes. They were painted, branded, tested and trialled and found to be useless. The scooters have now been sold to a businessman from Letterkenny who bought each bike at a reduced price of €1,500. I’m sure he thought it a redletter day.
       A victim of a burglary was forced to go and pick up Gardai after she was told there were no patrol cars for them to use. The woman, from Newtowncunningham in Co. Donegal initially reported the incident a her home, before being told she had the choice of waiting for the nearest patrol car, which was 9km away at the Carrigans station, or collecting the Gardai herself to investigate the incident.
Guards aren’t the only ones who have stopped cruising, after the announcement of a split between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (see what I did there?). Katie Holmes, most famous for playing Joey in Dawson’s Creek and Tom for being a seriously strange Scientologist, are now set to play their biggest roles yet in an acrimonious and media maintained divorce.
In other more interesting news; Pudsey, the pooch that won Britain’s Got Talent with his dancing owner Ashleigh, has signed a publishing contract worth £350,000. That’s right he can dance, he can write, but can he do his own stunts? ‘Pudsey: My Autobiography’ comes on the tail of Roy Keane’s dog Triggs also releasing a biography this year. Who will be next, Bo Obama? Tinkerbell Hilton? It’s a dog’s life.

Government Remain Quiet As Divorce Rate Increases

The results of Census 2011 released this week have revealed that the number of divorcees has soared by 150 percent in the past decade to 87,770. This can be evidenced from the results of the 2002 census, the first census to be conducted following the introduction of divorce in Ireland in 1996, inside which detailed a figure of 35,059 divorcees.

In contrast to the number of divorcees, the number of separated people has marginally increased to 116,194 from 107,263 five years previous.

Expectedly, resultant of an increase in the divorce rate was an increase in the marital breakdown rate. In 2006 the marital breakdown rate was 8.7%, and this has now risen to 9.7% in 2011.

Nationwide, there was an increase of 21,800 since 2006 of co-habiting couples, with 143,600 of couples favouring co-habitation as opposed to marriage.

But all of the above are mere statistics. The reasons and the effects of divorce remains a topic largely undiscussed in Ireland. The findings by the Central Statistics Office give us reason to allow these statistics occupy the headlines, but only for a matter of days, until they become the taboo subject which will only rear its ugly head again when the next set of Census results are released.

Even then the means in which they are released is a little deceiving, if you add together the number of divorcees, people separated, and those who remarried after divorce, the number jumps to a quarter of a million. Now that’s a real headline grabber! Albeit comparative to other countries the marital breakdown rate in Ireland still remains relatively low.

Today I ask, why is there no discussion surrounding these figures? Why aren’t the government questioning the increase in divorce rates? And why is no one delving into the possible effects divorce can have on both parent and child?

Whilst reported nationwide as a mere statistic, divorce is much more. It can be for many, that lasting scar which remains unhealed for years to come. The number of children who are affected by martial breakups remains unreported and research suggesting the damage it causes children has been published on countless occasions, the impact it can have on a child’s educational attainment in the future is significant, as teachers can notice a change in a child’s behaviour subsequent to a marital breakup.

On a personal note, I am a by-product of a bitter and acrimonious martial break up, but I didn’t allow it to affect my studies. In fact, following the news, I went in to school and sat my Junior Certificate exams the next morning – my education achievement remained, thankfully, unaffected.

However it has been noted that divorce leads to a mistrust of marriage by those affected, and to that I would concur. It is this which is believed to be a factor which has contributed to the falling rates of marriages in western countries. For children who experience divorce, are reluctant to ever subject themselves to something which would lead to that experience ever again. Once bitten, twice shy as they say. This also points to the reasoning behind the increase in cohabitation in western countries including Ireland – and whilst we worry about divorce rates, further research has suggested that cohabiting parents are twice as likely to break up as married parents.

So what can we do in Ireland? Re-enact our much loved ‘brush it under the carpet’ attitude? Isn’t that where the topic of abortion and other controversial topics remain? Or utilise these figures as a wake-up call.

Surely no society wants to boast about soaring divorce rates, surely no society wants children to be affected in the long term from such an experience, and surely the government can side step talks of the bank bailouts for one day in the Dail to address a humane aspect of life here in Ireland and one effecting adults, children, and the wider society alike?

I don’t know about you Enda, but I sure am getting uncomfortable with these figures!!