This is the week of bizarre divorce news, I guess. Yesterday, it was the $48.6 million award to Heather Mills [plus $70,000/year in child support, school tuition, and about $50,000/year for a nanny] in her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney. With all the rancor of that divorce, I foresee no happy co-parenting there!
Today, I read a report of a Connecticut divorce . . . something about 'til death do we part . . .
Karen Finnegan sued Joseph Finnegan for divorce in July 2007 after 26 years of marriage. Joe's defense was simple: He claimed that when his heart stopped in June 2004, his temporary death dissolved his marriage. His death was "temporary" because cardiopulmonary resuscitation revived him.
In fact, Joe claimed that he later died two additional times, in 2004 and 2005. He therefore filed a motion captioned "Motion to Dismiss on the Grounds that the Defendant is No Longer Married to the Plaintiff Having Been Previously Completely, Although Not Permanently Dead."
A Connecticut statute provides that a marriage is dissolved by the death of one of the parties.
Joe's motion failed. First, he provided no evidence, documentary or otherwise, to support his claim of being previously dead. Second, the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines "death" as "permanent cessation of all vital functions." Medline Plus, an online medical dictionary, defines "death" as "the irreversible cessation of all vital functions as indicated by the permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain capacity: the end of life." A statute included in the Probate Code defines "death" as "(1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem."
Since Joe's death wasn't permanent or irreversible, his motion was denied. I guess we'll have to wait for Finnegan's Wake.