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DivorceEntry of Divorce Judgment: An Occasion To Celebrate?

March 19, 2008

There is a story on CNN about  "Divorce Celebrations"

It makes perfect sense to mark the occasion of a divorce with an “event.”  Unquestionably, divorce, like marriage or death, is a life changing event. It is the legal recognition of the end of a marriage.  This major event  unceremoniously occurs with the stroke of a judge’s pen and your lawyer’s handshake as he bids you goodbye and wishes you good luck in the future.

It is natural to be depressed or even angry when marriage is terminated by divorce. Notwithstanding the fact that half of all marriages end in divorce, society still views divorce as some type of failure; litigants may cast themselves as winners or losers.

When a marriage ends because of the death of one of the parties, there is an accepted grieving process; there is a funeral, a wake, or a shiva. Why should there not be some type of social acknowledgment or ritual to mark the end of a marriage by divorce?

If just discussing divorce in public seemed taboo a few years ago, the growing trend of divorce celebrations is helping lessen the stigma surrounding the end of marriage.

"Yes, it’s sad and it’s painful, but it’s not failure," says Christine Gallagher, the owner of Los Angeles event company The Divorce Party Planner and the author of a book by the same name. "It’s part of life, and yet it’s the only major event for which we have no ritual.

"A celebration communicates that divorce is OK — life-affirming, even." . . .

 "It’s like an Irish wake. Just because there’s been a death doesn’t mean you can’t have food and drink, acknowledge the past and hope good things for the future. It’s about closure."

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