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Divorce Rates in Today's Society

Many marriages end in divorce. In facto, 50% of all marriage end shortly after they begin. There are many theories as to why the number of divorces has risen so drastically. Is it the timeless tale of miscommunication between a man and a woman? Is generation X simply a group of less tolerant people, unwilling to deal with slight imperfections in a marriage? What solutions are there to prevent these frequent divorces?

There are many theories as to why current marriages frequently end in divorce. Is it still that men and women simply do not understand each other’s needs and wants? Is there a lack of respect for each other and for marriage in general? Has social, economical, political, and interpersonal change left this generation so they don’t know how to understand the opposite sex? Has changes in marriage roles been so drastically changed, a man and woman are unable to make a matter work? Is generation X so emotionally scarred by their parent’s failed marriages that they are unable to have a successful, intimate relationship? Are people marrying out of a fear of loneliness? Is generation X unable to “make the best of” a situation? (whY divorce?)

“There is a consensus that the overall I U.S. divorce rate had a brief spurt after WWII, followed by a decline, then starting to rise in the 1960s and even more quickly in the 1970s and leveled off [in the] 1980s and [has since] declined slightly.” (Divorce Statistic Collections) The Barna Research Group interviewed 3,854 adults from 48 states and determined that 11% of the adult population is currently divorced. However, 25% of adults have been divorced. This means that second marriages are a viable option. (U.S. Divorce Rates)

The same research determined that there was a relationship between divorce rates and faith denominations. Baptists have a divorce rate of 29%, and people of the Jewish faith have a divorce rate of 30%. However, it was found that Catholics, Lutherans, and Atheists have a divorce rate of 21%. Is is possible that religions with specific, strict gender roles may force marriages that end in divorce? (U.S. Divorce Rates)

Generational gaps also seem to play a major role in divorce. Marriages of people in generation X have a divorce rate of 50%, while Baby Boomer (now age 33 to 52) have a divorce rate of 34%. People from the Builder’s generation (age 53 to 72) have a slightly higher divorce rate of 37%. Seniors, age 72 and older have a divorce rate of just 18%. It is possible that morals and gender roles have so drastically changed in the past 50 years, that marriages today simply can’t work. (U.S Divorce Rates)

It has also been determined that divorce rates are related to location. Marriages in the south and the Midwest have a 27% chance of ending in divorce. Marriages in the west of a slightly lower risk of 26% resulting in divorce. However, marriages in the northeast have a 19% chance of concluding in divorces. The change in divorce rates due to locations may be due to the fact that the common age of marriage is younger in some areas. Also, in these areas household incomes are lower, putting a financial burden on a straining relationship. (U.S Divorce Rates)

There are many proposed solutions to the problem of increased divorced rates. Should people not marry at all, but rather live together only? Should grounds for divorce be stricter with divorces rarely given? Should marriages be a contract with the option to renew after 2, 3 or 5 years? If couples were given the option to allow the marriage contract to simply expire, less effort would be put into making marriage work. Marriage would just be a convenient alternative to dating or living together. There would be more children living in single-parent homes, and the trend would continue. By making marriage a renewable contract, it would be considered a game or,a product, like a car which one can lease until they are ready for another. Marriage, a union of people in love, would be made a mockery.

A better solution to the divorce issue is to have a mandatory period an engaged couple must live together. This would allow a couple to see how they relate to each other and if a successful marriage is possible. Then, a couple should have the option to marry. If they found it impossible to live together, than perhaps, marriage is not an ideal relationship for them. However, if they found their trial period was successful, marriage may be an option.

There are many reasons why marriages are unsuccessful. Age, location, morals, communication, and faith all effect the success of a marriage. Many solutions to this divorce issue have been proposed, including an option to marriage: a renewable contract. This solution would not only result in more failed marriages. Communication needs to be improved upon, as well as the reasons a couple feels they should get married, should be closely examines before a commitment is made.

Works Cited

“Divorce Statistics Collection: Summary of findings so far,” Americans for Divorce Reforms, at http:www.divorceform.org/results.html

“U.S. divorce rates: for carious faith groups, age groups, and geogrphapical areas.” Religious Tolerance, at http://religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

“whY? divorce,” Anonymous, at http://members.aol.com/WhyPage/divorce1.html

My name is Sara Campbell. I am a 24 year old teacher in NJ. I was recently married and currently live with my husband and our two cats.  View profile

Marriage, Divorce, and the Economy: No Excuse for Irresponsible Parenting

Is our down-turned economy having an effect on divorce in the United States and other nations around the world? While it’s too early for statistical evidence, reports from marriage counselors and divorce attorneys around the globe are in agreement. They’re finding many couples who were ready to call it quits are post- posting the divorce decision due to financial reasons. In the U.S., with housing values at near-record lows, wide-ranging cuts in salaries and a dramatic rise in unemployment rates, many couples are just not divorcing because they are afraid they can’t afford it.

Does this mean couples are finding new ways to get along and reconsider their marriages? In some cases, yes, but for many it just means adapting to continued states of unhappiness and coping with disappointment and frustration. This, of course, does not bear well for the children of these unions. They experience the negative consequences of a distressed marriage whether the couple splits up or chooses to stay together because of economic factors.

Too many couples are financially dependent on one another to make a break, but at the same time they have lost their emotional interdependence which helps a couple thrive during outside challenges. Without the affection and emotional connection, these couples are basically house-mates sharing a home and living expenses.

The problem is that they are also parents of children who may be even more confused than ever about life at home. Mom and Dad are still married and together – but are they? This is a big concern for therapists, school guidance counselors, clergy and others who understand children’s emotional and psychological needs during times of high stress.

In the past it was common for divorce rates to spike during times of financial insecurity. Back in the recession of 1997 the divorce rate rose close to 20%. However, economists note that during real tough times, such as the Great Depression in the early 1930s, divorce rates statistically decline because people can’t afford the luxury of splitting into two separate homes.

There are no clear resolutions for today’s economic crisis or for parents caught up in the whirlwind around the divorce decision. However, staying together in a marriage that continues in “form” only can be a damaging situation for the children. That’s because those marriages often fail to focus on the emotional safety and security factors that children need in order to thrive, feel self- confident and express themselves.

Parents — whatever you do, stop and ask yourself some fundamental questions before moving ahead whether in – or out – of the marriage:

• Despite economic stress are we taking the time to give our children the loving attention they deserve?

• Are we as parents providing a loving environment for our children – whether we share the same residence or two separate abodes?

• Are we providing the nurturing, values and personal time we want to instill in our children despite our own challenges as adults?

• Are we creating family time rituals with one or both parents so our children feel that we still are a “family” regardless of the form it takes?

• Should we be seeking outside professional help to make sure our children are feeling safe, secure, loved and peaceful in their home environment(s)?

• Are we being honest with our children about our circumstances without confiding adult details to them that would be confusing and burdensome for them at their age?

• Are we restraining from arguing, badmouthing each other, creating tension, bitterness, sarcasm or other negativity when the children are present?

• Are we reminding our children how much we love them and will continue to love them regardless of changes in where and how we live?

How you answer these questions will determine the quality of life your children experience – whether they are residing in one residence or two. Always remember, you are parents first – and a couple struggling with marital or divorce issues second. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Rosalind Sedacca’s Child-Centered Divorce Network provides numerous free articles, an ezine and other valuable resources for parents at www.childcentereddivorce.com, Her new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids … about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! is also available at howdoitellthekids.com.

© Rosalind Sedacca 2009. All rights reserved.

Divorce Rates In America And Other Western Countries

The rate at which people divorce varies from country to country. However, gathering of divorce statistics from different countries is difficult because some countries do not release their official records. Nevertheless, most divorce records show the figures three to four years ago, and despite this situation, it is possible to make comments on divorce rates in certain Western countries.

In the USA, it is generally accepted that up to 50% of all marriages fail compared to other countries such as Australia, the UK and Canada. There are different ways of looking at divorce statistics. For instance, you can read how many divorces occur per head of population. In the USA, the recent figures show that 8 people per 1000 of the population get divorced compared to the Western countries with 5 divorced people per 1000 members of the population.

In the US it is easier and more accurate to make your study on a state rather than a federal basis. Each state is required to keep marriage and divorce records and you can obtain relevant information via the appropriate government body in each particular state.

The rate of divorce has moved dramatically in some countries recently. In the UK, the rate of divorce has dropped by about 15% in recent years; Australia’s divorce rate has increased considerably. Of course the statisticians provide the raw data and the commentators provide the opinions as to why this is so. In Australia for instance, the marked increase in the rate of divorce is likely to have occurred because of changes in federal law, making it much easier to obtain a divorce. By introducing the grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences’, couples wishing to divorce simply had to separate for a set minimum period and then list the grounds for divorce as irreconcilable differences.

The rate of divorce does include information other than the overall number of divorces as a percentage of all marriages. You can discover the average length of a marriage and the age at which people are more likely to divorce. For instance there is a high dissolution of marriages in the first few years and a low number of marriage failures once a couple has entered into many years of marriage. That’s not to say couples don’t divorce at different stages of their union but that marriages are more likely to break down in the early years than if a couple has been married for a long time.

Presently, the average length of marriage in the United States eight years. This fact and many others give an interesting– if not depressing view of marriage– and its possible failure. Divorce rates also reflect the societal problems that surround marriage such as the increasing number of women in the workforce, the change in divorce legislation and the ease with which divorce can be obtained today.

My website, www.divorceguide.com, provides free resources and articles about divorce. Visit it now to find more information on marriage divorce rate.