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The Super Bowl and Divorce…Who Wins the Game?

In a few short hours the shown down begins! Super Bowl LI kicks off in Houston, Texas. It is a winner takes all event, because, although the two teams, The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons (go…!!!-hey I went to Emory so this is the closest I get to rooting for a team), making it to the Super Bowl is, in itself a feat, only the winning team, and usually the quarterback, gets to make that momentous statement the day after as to what he is doing now. In case your memory or your age (youth) impedes your ability to recall the retort, it is, “I’m going to Disney World,” which began way back in 1987 as a marketing mechanism for the Disney machine. But I digress.

Although the “losing” team players each get $53,000.00 for their defeat, and the “winning” team players each get $107,000.00 for their victory, to these guys, most of whom have salaries in the millions, the monetary differential likely means nothing compared to the bragging rights and that illusive Super Bowl ring, reportedly valued at $36,000.00, but clearly invaluable to those who actually score one. (Although I did see knock-offs on EBay starting at $20….but really?)

Yes, in the Super Bowl, there is a clear winner. So I began to wonder why some couples view their divorces as their own personal Super Bowl. And then my mind began to wander….I had visions of a husband and wife decked out in full football regalia, facing off, in the snap position, and ready to run the first play.

I envisioned it something like this….now please read this as if you are hearing Troy Aikman is doing the play-by play:

Good afternoon. I’m here in the broadcast booth of the County Courthouse for game day. It’s been a really long season leading up to the final event. The odds on who is going to win the Divorce Super Bowl pretty much puts it at 50/50. So let’s go down to the field, um, I mean courtroom, and watch the game.
The Husband won the coin toss, and chose to kick first. In fact, it seems the Husband has had all the coins and has been kicking since the beginning of the season.
Here’s the kick: The Wife gets off to a good start. She scores the first touchdown by freezing all of the husband’s business accounts before he knew what happened. But the husband loses no time in rebounding by sacking (no pun) the wife in the next quarter and cutting off her offense and her funds at the knees, so she made no gains on any more plays in the second quarter. The Husband then maneuvers his way down the field and trashes all of the wife’s possessions and in so doing runs in a winning touchdown to tie the game up at lunchtime (um, I mean halftime).
Although both Husband and Wife would have loved to watch Lady Gaga perform during their halftime, it seems that funds for this performer have already been swallowed up by the lawyers who, in this case, do not seem to have talents beyond perhaps, some second rate karaoke singing. And as far as lunch, well, at this point, neither side can contemplate downing one of those overpriced stadium hotdogs.
So, ladies and gentlemen, (says Troy during what is left of half/lunch time), both teams have highly paid quarterbacks (lawyers) who often seem only too willing to throw their own players under the proverbial bus in hopes of marching a few more yards down the field. Let’s face it; these quarterbacks rarely suffer any injuries in the games between husband and wife.
As the husband, wife and their respective attorneys return to the gridiron courtroom, we watch two more quarters that pretty much play out like those first two quarters. The third quarter drags on, but it is scoreless. There’s a lot of running, a lot of yelling from the players, but neither team can move the ball into a favorable position for Husband or Wife. But wait, it is the fourth quarter. The Husband and his attorney fake a pass, and then take off down the field, running in for a score with two minutes left on the clock. It looks like the game is over for the Wife, but, oh no, the touchdown is ruled no good by the referee (judge) who calls a penalty on the Husband’s team, much to the delight of the Wife’s team.

Now we all know that the Super Bowl cannot end in a tie. In fact, any overtime continues in 15 minute increments, until a team scores…commonly called a “sudden death.” But, of course, the Divorce Super Bowl does not follow the NFL rules. In fact, notwithstanding Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes and the Florida Family Rules of Procedure, it often seems like the referees in court are not following those rules either, or, at least, have a lot more discretion than the NFL referees. Bad calls end up in appellate courts, just continuing the strife and enforcing even more so that there is no true victory by either side in divorce.

And unlike those NFL players who will all walk away with big checks and half of whom will have the ultimate bragging rights, divorce sees no true victory, but more often leaves defeats on both sides…and even more defeats when children are involved.

Divorce is not and should not be a Super Bowl square off. Cases should be resolved by both sides (encouraged by their attorneys) compromising and coming to a resolution before the showdown. Somebody may get to keep the jewelry and somebody may end up with a little more in the asset column. But nobody is getting a Super Bowl Divorce ring or a sterling silver divorce trophy to display on his/her mantle.

So today, kick back, cheer on your team, have some chicken wings and enjoy the game. If you bet on the winning team, maybe you’ll even make a few bucks and you can buy one of those courthouse hot dogs. But don’t bet when it comes to divorce. When it’s your life and your family, there’s a lot more at stake for you than the outcome of the Super Bowl. Now, go watch those awesome commercials!

There's no winner in the Divorce Super Bowl

Keep the Super Bowl in the stadium NOT the courtroom.

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