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Trends in divorce in United States

Oct 24, 2018 | 0 comments

Oct 24, 2018 | Essays | 0 comments

Trends in divorce in United States
Divorce is defined as the formal separation of a married couple. In the United States each and every states has a set of regulations that provide for ground for divorce. Ordinarily before divorce is formalized by a trial court a person is supposed to state the reason they want a divorce as well as proving that reason. In some states a couple that intend to divorce is required to live separately before divorce is granted. In the recent years couples could apply for divorce on not fault grounds. The common grounds for divorce include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, incapacity and criminal convictions. This paper will evaluate the trends of divorce in the United States and the causes of divorce. In the first part the paper shall focus on the statistics of divorce and determine whether or not divorce rates are on the rise or not. In the second part the paper will look at the cause of divorce in the United States. The paper will then have a conclusion that will summarize the statistics and cause of divorce in the United States.
Divorce Trends in the United States
Divorce occurs when married couples are no longer on the same page regarding the marriage and are unwilling to negotiate to stay married. Divorce trends in the United States has been stable for over forty years and increased dramatically in for three years during the great depression and World War II. After the World War II the rate of marriages increased by 16.2 percent and at the same time the rate of divorces increased by 4.3 percent. This rate of increase in divorce remained the same into the 1980s. In the 1990s the rate of divorce increased by 4.1 percent. It was in the year 2009 when the rate of divorce hit its lowest mark of 2.7 percent divorces per 1,000 people. As years went by the rate of divorces continued to increase due to various factors. It is because of these increased trends in divorce that led to the assumption that half of the marriages in the United States end up in divorce. According to the United States Census bureau that divorce rate in America have continued to rise from the 1960s up to date (United States Census Bureau 1). Although the rates of divorce have reduced from the previous years the figure is still high in the American Society.
The Causes of Divorce in the United States
Changes in the societies understanding of marriage has affected divorce trends. Enactment of laws that are not strict on divorce played a role in contributing to the rise of divorce rates. For instance, allowing the no-fault divorce has given many people more reasons to divorce. The Divorce Reform Act of 1969 brought so many changes regarding the grounds for divorce. It was no longer necessary for people to prove grounds for divorce such as adultery, abandonment, incapacity they could simply divorce if things were not working out or they were not happy. Couples took advantage of this law without giving thought into its implications. Although the same law still exists, people are paying much attention to the reason for divorce and the implication it would have on their children or family (Richards 10). Another law that resulted to increase in divorce trends in the 1980s and 1990s was the Matrimonial Family Proceedings Act of 1985. Before the enactment of this Act any person seeking divorce had to stay separated from the person they seeking divorce from for at least three years before actual divorce is granted. When the Act was enacted it allowed couples to divorce without giving much thought whether or not their marital issues could be resolved.
With the presence of the law that seems to support divorce, divorce became socially acceptable since many people were divorcing. In the 1960s women were primarily depended on men. However, in the recent years women have access to education and have high paying jobs and are much more independent and can financially support themselves. It is because of such reasons that separation or divorce has become a much easier choice for women than before.
Statistics also indicate that couples are getting married for various reasons other than companionship and are having high expectation of marriage. When people get into the institution of marriage thinking that it will make them look better and if this does not happen so they opt to get out of the marriage resulting to increased incidences of divorce.
Income of couples in a marriage has been one of the primary reasons why people divorce. Research has indicated that couples with an average income of $50,000 are more likely to end up divorced compared to those who earn less that $25,000. Economic constrains are likely to lead to disagreements and the most likely solution for such couple would be to seek dissolution of their marriage. It is recommended that to avoid a marriage ending up in divorce they should both have a modest income.
Couples who cohabit before marriage are also likely to end up in divorce if they marry. The risk is even higher for those who live together with more than one partner. Living together is said to hinder the building of a strong commitment in the relationship or to each other hence less importance of marriage. This goes in line with pregnancy before marriage. Statistics in America indicate that more than 37% of children are born to parents who are not married. When these parents eventually marry, it is reported that 72 percent will likely separate or divorce before the child starts school. The rest who don’t marry are likely to raise the child separately without marriage.
Being raised by divorcee parents has also been attributed to the increased trends of divorce in America. Children experiencing the divorce of their parents have a double risk of their marriages ending in divorce. For those who marry spouse that have experienced divorce then the risk of the divorce is said to have tripled. This statistics indicate why divorce is common from one generation to another.
It is evident from the American Bureau of Statistics that divorce trend rates has been on the increase in the recent years. Although the figure continues to reduce it is still high. A number of factors have been attributed to this increase in divorce rates. The common grounds for divorce such as cruelty, adultery, abandonment and incapacity are no longer considered and that people are allowed to divorce for no reason. In addition the number of years before divorce is actually allowed has been reduced from three years to zero years. Several factors are associated with this increased trend of divorce, such as the laws for divorce themselves, societal views, education, cohabitation before marriage, income of couples and many others.
Works Cited
U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). “Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 2008 panel, Wave 2 Topical Module”. Census Bureau Washington, DC: U.S..
Wright, Richards. (1889). “A report on marriage and divorce in the United States, 1867 to 1886”. Government Printing Office. Washington, DC: U.S.

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