Divorce Divorce is a problem! Not only for the children and families living through oneor two or three, But for the people growing up in America. The problem is that the message being sent, through Americas increase in divorce rates, is that it is O.K. to make a mistake (which is true for most cases). But when it comes to marriage people should not wait until they are married to realize that mistake. The main reason for this misconception and increase in divorces has a lot to do with the laws, and the changes made to them. If you look back thirty years ago you would see that every state had a Fault based system of divorce. Which basically means you could only get divorced on grounds of adultery, physical abuse, mental cruelty, desertion, imprisonment, alcohol & drug addiction or insanity (which are all very good reasons to get divorced).

You would also see that every state had a much lower divorce rate. But in 1969 when James Hayes of California drafted the No-Fault divorce law, which was then signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan. Five years later 45 states did the same, and by 1985 every state had either switched to the No-Fault law or changed their existing laws in some way. The result was a 250% increase in divorce rates from 1960 to 1980 (according to a fifty state survey conducted by the Journal of Marriage and the Family). Also, younger people in the U.S.

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who are marrying for the first time face roughly a 40-50% chance of divorcing in their lifetime under current trends (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992, P.5). And of those marriages that end in divorce, many will end in the first 3 to 5 years (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992, P.4). Although much of this increase is to blame on the divorce laws themselves the media plays a big part to, especially with the increasing amount of people who own and watch T.V. I mean that when adults and children see movie stars, sports players and wealthy people, whom most children see as role models, going through large publicized divorces, it sends a message that it’s O.K.

to divorce. For example, when the famous Donald Trump got divorced or when Dennis Rodman & Carmen Electra got drunk one Saturday night in Las Vegas and decided to have a quick secret wedding, but eventually sobered up and got a divorce. Then there’s the more recent Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire. Where it took Darva Conger 48 hours to realize that she used to have good family values and that she made a huge mistake. But it seems she lost them values again once she was offered (and accepted) $400,000 dollars to pose nude for Playboy’s upcoming issue.

All these are just some of the media’s ways of portraying a divorce happy society. Although divorce is generally not a good thing, it is necessary for many situations. If there is an abusive relationship or a parent has been sent to prison, exc. But that doesn’t mean that if you get in a fight with your spouse, that you should get a divorce. Marriage is supposed to be taken seriously, so if you have a SERIOUS problem then divorce is necessary.

The main problem with divorce is that whom it affects the most is the ones who truly have to live with it, the children. Although many studies have shown that children in divorced families have more difficulty in school, more behavior problems, more negative self-images, more problems with peers and more trouble getting along with their parents. This does not mean that all children in divorced families are worse off than all children in intact families. Also, the difference’s between children in different types of families is less important than what causes these differences. The main cause of these differences has to do with the loss of a parent, economical losses, and more life stress from changes in children’s living situations, like changing schools, child care, homes, etc. The best way to lower divorce rates is to make it harder to get a divorce, by getting rid of the No-Fault divorce law.

That way people will be truly making a commitment when they decide to get married. Also, there should be certain levels of divorce. So it is much harder for married couples with children to get a divorce than married couples with out children. There should also be free marriage counseling required before marriage and divorce. Finally, marriage laws should be at the Federal level instead of the state level. So every state is required to have the same laws. I feel this will work because if you make it harder to get married and get a divorce, marriage will be a real commitment.

Although it may cause less people to get married, the one’s that do will stay married longer. In conclusion, divorce isn’t a problem, until it’s taken for granted! Also I think that lowering divorce won’t necessarily get rid of crime, or troubled children. But it will raise people’s moral values. Social Issues.


The number of children who were living with only one of their biological parents from 1900 to 1972 increased by 700%. Can we call this beneficial on the child’s maturing and mental stability and development? Between 1970 and 1996 the proportion of children under 18 living with only one of their parents grew from 12% to 28%. While the percentage of children living with both parents declined from 85% to 68%. As this century has passed, more and more divorces are taking place at an increased rate each year, and while it may be hard on the parents, it’s detrimental to so many children. It confuses them, upsets them, and leaves them questioning many things, most of which they will never find out until they are older. From 1950 to 1980 there has been a total of 175% increase in divorces.

The statistics now indicate, that half of all children will witness the breakup of a parents marriage, of these close to half of them will go on to see the break up of a parents second marriage, that’s indicating a 25% increase each year! The latest figures released show that all in all, between 1970 and 1996 the number of divorced people has more than quadrupled. 10% of these children that witness this first divorce will go on to witness three or more family breakups.

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I am here to give my thoughts and opinions on the issue of now in this 20th century, the increased rate of children developing mentally without a fatherly figure in the family is harming the children’s development.

Tim Rotheisler commented on the recent increases in break ups and the effects it has on children. “Since the introduction of “no-fault divorce” in Canada 30 years ago, the rate of marital break-up has soared 600%. A third of marriages fail, and over a third of those break-ups involve children. One-fifth of Canadian
children have lost a parent to divorce, with an effect that some sociologists now say can be “worse than a parent’s death.” Divorce is consistently associated with juvenile emotional disorders, crime, suicide, promiscuity and later marital break-up.”
So as we all can see now that marriage break ups are at a increased rate and still the rate continues to increase. But how is this affecting our children? Tim indicated that divorce was closely related to disorder in juvenile crime, suicide and promiscuity. The statistics back this statement up. In 1992 1 in 3 women were assaulted by a domestic partner, that’s four million in a single year and the primary reason is divorces and marital problems. When children are exposed to this, they learn from it unfortunatly. The sadder thing for the women is that a man will receive on average for killing his partner 2 to 6 years of imprisionment. While women who kill their partners are given 15 years on average.

Problem youth is a big issue among authorities and citizens today. In Canada 1017 of every 100000 youth are locked up in jail. 415 of these will be incarcerated for long periods of time. What the annoying thing is, is WHAT is causing this behavior, what is ‘sparking’ it? What kind of childhood experiences are causing seven million youth to commit an offence each year. 3% of these ‘young offenders’ contribute to committing 25% of all offences. An argument may be that these kids are only the ones that leave school, unfortunately this is not the case, there are three million offences committed on school campuses each year in America.

What I have just told you backs up one side of the argument brought forward earlier. But I personally don’t think that parents’ not breaking up is the solution. Many of us know that a parent, mainly the father will be an abusive father, or one that doesn’t contribute positively at all to the family. The presence of a fatherly role in the house may encourage youth to be violent towards a particular race either by parental persuasion or in some cases, abuse the child, thus leaving the spouse no reputable option but to leave home. Most children, as nave as we may be now by objecting to this comment listen to what their parents say, they may not take full head to the advice, but it is still there. Our parents contribute 90% of our emotional benefit. They are the people we have to fall back on if we are sad, or confused. And recent surveys have indicated that children that don’t open up to parents or mentors have trouble expressing their feelings later on in life, and become insensitive.

My argument is that if a parent promotes a certain view of a race, or person. Ie: homophobia, racism against blacks or whites or asians, whichever, the child will learn from this and have this in their head. And may become a detrimental part of society. In conclusion to this, I would like to refresh all arguments presented in this delivery. A child who witnesses divorces or domestic violence in a family is likely to become a part of problem youth. On the other hand it may seem better for the parents to split up.

I have taken both sides to this argument, and I am certain there is other sides to it as there normally is in most cases. The real question is WHAT is harming our children? Parents breaking up? Or Parents not breaking up? I think it’s just the marital arrangement, and that people have abused this over the years, thus abusing their child either mentally or physically.


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