Divorce Essential Reads Dealing with Divorce The dissolution of a marriage is almost always an unhappy event, at the very least marked by disappointment and the loss of dreams and expectations. In addition, there are usually many legal, financial, parental, emotional, and practical aspects that require changes in responsibilities and routines, and it can take people years to regain equilibrium.
Bradford Wilcox Fall InGovernor Ronald Reagan of California made what he later admitted was one of the biggest mistakes of his political life. But no-fault divorce also gutted marriage of its legal power to bind husband and wife, allowing one spouse to dissolve a marriage for any reason — or for no reason at all.
This legal transformation was only one of the more visible signs of the divorce revolution then sweeping the United States: From tothe divorce rate more than doubled — from 9. In the years sincehowever, these trends have not continued on straight upward paths, and the story of divorce has grown increasingly complicated.
This imbalance leaves our cultural and political elites less well attuned to the magnitude of social dysfunction in much of American society, and leaves the most vulnerable Americans — especially children living in poor and working-class communities — even worse off than they would otherwise be.
The nearly universal introduction of no-fault divorce helped to open the floodgates, especially because these laws facilitated unilateral divorce and lent moral legitimacy to the dissolution of marriages. The sexual revolution, too, fueled the marital tumult of the times: Spouses found it easier in the Swinging Seventies to find extramarital partners, and came to have higher, and often unrealistic, expectations of their marital relationships.
The anti-institutional tenor of the age also meant that churches lost much of their moral authority to reinforce the marital vow. This accomodationist mentality was evident in a pronouncement issued by the United Methodist Church, the largest mainline Protestant denomination in America.
The statement read in part: In marriages where the partners are, even after thoughtful reconsideration and counsel, estranged beyond reconciliation, we recognize divorce and the right of divorced persons to remarry, and express our concern for the needs of the children of such unions.
To this end we encourage an active, accepting, and enabling commitment of the Church and our society to minister to the needs of divorced persons. Prior to the late s, Americans were more likely to look at marriage and family through the prisms of duty, obligation, and sacrifice.
A successful, happy home was one in which intimacy was an important good, but by no means the only one in view. A decent job, a well-maintained home, mutual spousal aid, child-rearing, and shared religious faith were seen almost universally as the goods that marriage and family life were intended to advance.
Increasingly, marriage was seen as a vehicle for a self-oriented ethic of romance, intimacy, and fulfillment.
The s marked the period when, for many Americans, a more institutional model of marriage gave way to the "soul-mate model" of marriage. Of course, the soul-mate model was much more likely to lead couples to divorce court than was the earlier institutional model of marriage.
Now, those who felt they were in unfulfilling marriages also felt obligated to divorce in order to honor the newly widespread ethic of expressive individualism. As social historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead has observed of this period, "divorce was not only an individual right but also a psychological resource.
The dissolution of marriage offered the chance to make oneself over from the inside out, to refurbish and express the inner self, and to acquire certain valuable psychological assets and competencies, such as initiative, assertiveness, and a stronger and better self-image.
In the older, institutional model of marriage, parents were supposed to stick together for their sake. The view was that divorce could leave an indelible emotional scar on children, and would also harm their social and economic future.
Yet under the new soul-mate model of marriage, divorce could be an opportunity for growth not only for adults but also for their offspring. The view was that divorce could protect the emotional welfare of children by allowing their parents to leave marriages in which they felt unhappy.
At the height of the divorce revolution in the s, many scholars, therapists, and journalists served as enablers of this kind of thinking. These elites argued that children were resilient in the face of divorce; that children could easily find male role models to replace absent fathers; and that children would be happier if their parents were able to leave unhappy marriages.
Inone prominent scholar wrote in the Journal of Divorce that divorce even held "growth potential" for mothers, as they could enjoy "increased personal autonomy, a new sense of competence and control, [and the] development of better relationships with [their] children.Divorce in america essays.
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Feb 14, · Divorce attorneys welcome the expertise and support of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ when it comes to the daunting task of conducting a Lifestyle Analysis or . - I hate divorce” says the Lord God of Israel (Kings James Bible, ) Divorce is the legal severing of marital bonds and is on the rise in North America.
In , divorce in . The law and economics of marriage and divorce / edited by Antony Dnes and Robert Rowthorn. approach gives them a central place in the analysis of marriage and divorce. compelling evidence that in the case of North America the liberalization of divorce law had a permanent impact on divorce rates.
In the case of Europe.