I recently got the chance to finally go to Forks. I’ve been wanting to go ever since I moved to Washington some 8 years ago. I’m not sure if it was ever thing my younger self dreamed of but it was fun none the less. My little getaway to the land of Twilight made me reminisce on a post I wrote some 5 years ago describing the legal process through the divorce of Edward and Bella. Check out an updated version below:
I know it’s too painful to think about and it will never never ever happen but let’s just pretend it might. Edward and Bella do not live happily ever after. As a matter of fact they barely make it out of the honeymoon stage. Let’s take a fun (and of course hypothetical) look at our favorite fictional vampire couple and how they would divorce in Washington state using actual laws.
So its official the marriage is over. Edward has realized that forever now that Bella is a vampire is a little too long. He can no longer take her one dimensional self and he has Emmett serve Bella divorce papers because he was to hire a process server (and technically anyone not a party to the case and over the age of 18 can serve). Bella has grown to resent Edward for turning her into a vampire, even though she begged for it (and it saved her life) so she is soooo ready to move on from her overprotective semi controlling husband. Bella has moved out of their love cottage and back in with Charlie, who of course is thrilled that the marriage is ending. Edward has taken back his bed less room back in the main house, leaving the martial home empty in the woods.
Luckily Bella was 18 when they got married so there is no need to worry about age requirements although some may question their mental state. They are both residents of Washington so no worries there. So the big issues become custody of Renesmee and how to divide the property.
There wouldn’t be any need for a paternity test since a child born during marriage or within 300 days after the end of the marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband. Although being dead with no blood or a heartbeat… if I were Edward I would question how my dead sperm was able to impregnate someone, but that’s just me. Assuming Renesmee hasn’t already grown to the ripe old age of 18, custody will be an issue in this divorce.
Bella and Edward will both want custody more then likely, so we can say goodbye to any type of agreement. With the two not communicating and not willing to work together the court will probably have to appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL). The GAL will have to give recommendations as to whether it is better for Renesmee to be raised around her vampire family with Edward or with Bella, Charlie, and some wolves (I think it’s safe to say that with Edward gone, Bella will be a more permanent fixture with the wolves and of course Jacob is not going anywhere).
Now because a divorce can take years to complete Bella has decided to file for some temporary orders. She puts in for a temporary restraining order because Edward has turned hostile toward and she is also seeking temporary custody of Renesmee. Bella ends up with temporary custody because she alleges that Edward is unfit to care for a child because he has anger and control issues. Edward gets supervised visits and must take anger management classes.
Unable to reach a resolution in mediation Edward and Bella head to trial. The GAL completed her report and after interviewing family, friends and Bella all report that Edward has always been a tad bit possessive, controlling, and suicidal (and that’s a whole other article) the GAL has recommended (and the judge agrees) to give Bella primary custody (although her judgment could be called into question, cliff diving so she could hear Edward’s voice, purposely cutting her arm to distract a certain redheaded vampire, trying to take on James alone, and let’s not forget, dating a vampire!!). Edward successfully completed his classes so the judge also awards him every other weekend and Tuesdays and Thursday after school.
With Bella being designated the custodial parent that means Edward will be paying some child support. Since Edward is clearly voluntarily unemployed (just because he sparkles in the day doesn’t mean he can’t work the night shift ) his income will have to be imputed. Normally a table that has the average income for a person based on their age and gender would be used but I’m not sure what the imputed income of a 112 year old vampire would be.
Now let’s talk property, I guess this will really be more of chat, they don’t have much not together anyway. The biggest issue would probably be the house. It was a gift to Edward and Bella together, but I’m sure neither will want it. Since it seems likely this will be deemed community property it would probably make sense to sell it to Jasper and Alice or Emmett and Rosalie then split the proceeds. This is exactly what the judge order them to do. Edward decided he wanted the Mercedes he bought Bella back but Bella made it clear that it was a gift. The judge agrees and Bella keeps the car since it was a gift and she needs transportation to drive Renesmee around. Edward gets to keep all of his property since it was deemed separate property, he’s got over a 100 years of stuff, none of which Bella has any claim to. Luckily they weren’t married long enough to have any debts and Edward doesn’t have to pay spousal support even though Bella feels she deserves it.
Both leave trial feeling defeated because really no one ever wins in a family law case. Bella changes her last name back to Swan and lucky for them both Renesmee grows so fast they will probably only have to co-parent for 6 months. They lead separate lives until one day Edward turns on the TV and sees his daughter, his ex-wife, and Jacob on Jerry Springer because Bella tried to seduce Jacob away from Renesmee; at that moment Edward will know he made the right decision.