Judge David Lopez has been presiding over the 256th Family District Court for more than two years, and on any given day, he grants around 15 divorces. This morning, though, he was busier than usual: On this day before Valentine's Day, Lopez upped the number of splits to an even 20. Which begs this question from Unfair Park, among others: Is he the Anti-Cupid? The answer, and more, follows after the jump.
But, before that, a Whitman's Sampler of some of the testimony Judge Lopez must hear before he can sign a divorce decree and grant a divorce:
"The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities between the parties that has destroyed the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship. There is no expectation of a reconciliation."
"The parties have divided all of the community property, personal property, assets and debts as stated in the Decree of Divorce before Your Honor at this time."
"I ask that Your Honor grant this Divorce. Thank you."
Do you have Valentine's Day plans?
As a matter of fact, I do. My church, we have a Valentine's conference every year. About 32 couples from the church go on a marriage retreat. The goal is to try to improve your marriage. Actually [he laughs], it takes me off the hook of not preparing anything for my wife. I can always count on the marriage retreat.
How long have you been married?
What do you think about granting divorces the day before you're going on a retreat to work on your marriage?
When they come in here, they're past that stage. They've spent a lot of money, spent a lot of time on this. I rarely have anybody wavering on whether they want a divorce or not.
So you don't feel the irony of processing divorces right before Valentine's Day?
The irony I do feel at times is sometimes people come in and they want to get married. So we do marriages from time to time. It is ironic to do those in the same place that I grant the divorce.
How do you feel being Anti-Cupid today?
Actually, I think people think about Cupid as making them happy, and I think these people getting a divorce, for a lot of them, they're happy to move on to the next step in their life. Apparently the relationship didn't work out, and they want to be freed from it and go on, either go solo for a while or start a new relationship.
So are you saying that you are, in fact, Cupid?
Yes! I think I am! People are separated for a long period of time in a lot of these cases. And they'll go on separated. But the thing that encourages them to come to the courthouse and finalize is they've met somebody else. And they want to move forward with that relationship, but they have this other one they have to finalize first.
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So this weekend they'll be able to be single, which is what they want?
Yes. I think it's somewhat awkward for somebody to be married and be dating somebody. Sometimes people come in and they celebrate that they got divorced today.
Do you think your red tie made people think about Valentine's Day?
I want to acknowledge it's Valentine's Day. I want people to know there's something special about what's going on this weekend. I think we all should.