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New show treats divorce and property division as entertainment

Few decisions in life are as important as deciding that marriage is the next, best step in a relationship. Conversely, the decision to end a marriage is equally momentous and is most likely not entered into lightly. That may make the idea of a television series that approaches the decision as entertainment that much harder to swallow. However, there will probably be viewers in Ohio that may tune in just to satisfy their curiosity over how others handle some of the finer details of a divorce.

The premise of the new show, called "Untying the Knot" and airing on the Bravo channel, is to highlight the difficulties that can exist when a couple is attempting to split up the property and assets that they have accumulated during their marriage. The show is led by a woman who has experience in divorce and mediation, and according to descriptions written about the series premiere, she is the only one truly invested in making the show successful. Each airing of the series has the same three sections: home visit, an appraisal of the value and the decision of the show's judge.

While the couples participating in the series have apparently seemed unenthused about being featured, the entertainment value is purportedly boosted by the antics of the host/judge. In addition, there is the appearance of the valuators, who are siblings that run an appraisal service for the wealthier clientele they attract. Overall, the show may serve to help couples look at the division of property with better expectations of what the value may be of the items they may both desire.

Since close to half of marriages today end in divorce, the show may indeed attract a following. However, marriage and divorce are serious issues, and no television show can possibly help the majority of couples who may be struggling to deal with all of the material and emotional realities that are involved. Ohio couples who find that they are stuck and need direction on how to proceed with the dissolution of their marriage do have resources to turn to for guidance.

Source: businessweek.com, "Divorce TV: Bravo's Untying the Knot", Chris Rovzar, June 26, 2014

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