"Why I believe in divorce" is not a column I would have anticipated writing—especially at the unveiling of National Marriage Protection Week. You see, divorce is at the root of many societal ills; just not this one.

The case is regarding Terri Schindler-Schiavo, a 39-year-old Florida woman who became disabled following an unexplained incident 13 years ago. Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, have spent their retirement fighting for her life. But it's worth it, they say, when they see her smiling face light up every time they see her.

They love her, but don't have any say in her care because she is still legally married to Michael Schiavo—Terri's legal guardian.

The problem? Terri's husband, Michael has been living with another woman he calls his "fiancée" for nearly ten years. He's even fathered a child by her, and there's another on the way. Can you say "conflict of interest?"

According to a sworn affidavit, Carla Sauer Iyer, R.N., who cared for Terri at the Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center from April 1995 to July 1996, Michael isn't all too pleased that his wife is still alive. He was frequently overheard to say statements like: "Has she died yet?" and, "When is that b---- going to die?" Just the kind of guardian any father would want for his daughter.

Why doesn't he just divorce her and move on?

Well, one theory is that not only is Michael her legal guardian, he is her rich legal guardian. He was awarded over a million dollars in a malpractice settlement $750,000 of which was earmarked for Terri's rehabilitative care. Except the money never went for Terri's rehabilitative care; it is being spent on legal fees to remove all of her care—including her food and water.

Question: How do you get rid of your wife and still ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.