Tomorrow the new documentary Divorce Corp, an exposé on the United States’ family court system, will debut in theaters nationwide. Directed by filmmaker Joe Sorge, the movie has already been drawing heat and threats of boycott from groups clinging to the advantageous (for some) corruption in family courts.
After viewing the film myself, I can understand why anyone accustomed to an unfair advantage might be angry.
The bomb has finally been dropped and the truth has exploded all over an industry whose corruption and raw evil have not been matched since Jim Crow. Divorce Corp is a long awaited oracle of truth about an area of American life where mendacity and turpitude have been legislated, institutionalized and turned shamelessly into profit at the expense of families and children.
From start to finish, the movie educates viewers about the mechanics of the problem. It efficiently shows how family law attorneys, the chief architects of the misery-for-profit scheme that now defines the system; systematically ensure that divorces have just enough turmoil and conflict to drain their clients of assets.
It works for the attorneys. It works for the judges. It also works for all the ancillary personnel like social workers, whose living depends on helping attorneys and courts justify the destruction of the parent-child bond, because it is necessary to the “winning” of a case. The film does a particularly good job of showing how all this is packaged and sold under the “best interest of the child,” canard.
If those words don’t already make your skin crawl because you have been through a divorce, then they will after seeing this film – if you have an interest in the well-being of children.
The case studies are devastating, from a man who was put in prison for five years for criticism he made online of the judge in his divorce, to the more subtle but no less heartbreaking examples of children sheared away from their parents out of spite and avarice.
Divorce Corp also delivers a silver lining along with an almost incomprehensible amount of bad news. It offers possible solutions. There are some Scandinavian countries that approach divorce without the financial interest of lawyers in mind. This seems to work wonders for “the best interest of the child.”
And it also appears to do the same when there is no financial incentive to treat children like chattel, using them as pawns of convenience the moment someone becomes disenchanted with their marriage and wants out.
It is a case of no gain, no pain. And we would do well to take a good long look at it in the rest of the western world.
Is this movie perfect? In a word, no. I was troubled by what appeared to be too much effort to portray the issues as gender neutral. They aren’t, and that needs to be addressed. I was also disappointed that there was no mention of Title IV-D, and how it provides significant financial incentive for courts to operate protection rackets for single mothers.
In the big picture, though, these are small concerns, likely mitigated by the fact that we can only expect our culture to swallow one small bite at a time of this very large, unsavory pie.
In fact, this film, for the world we live in, may well be the perfect platform to spark some interest in change. Either way, it’s worth the price of a ticket. Though I suggest you skip the popcorn. Within the first few minutes you won’t have much of an appetite. It’s a gut wrenching movie, but one that you should see, just the same.
Interview with Director Joe Sorge:
Editor’s note: More on where you can see Divorce Corp here. –DE