Divorce in the USA
Divorcein the USA
Nameof the student
Nameof the Affiliate Institution
Divorcein the USA
Divorceis the legal dissolution of the marital bond existing between twopeople by a judge, thereby changing their status to being single,permitting them to marry again and providing a free and fair divisionof their property between the two parties (Herman et al., 2015). Thelegal dissolution also involves issues of child support and custody,distribution of debts and property that the couple may have hadbefore the separation. For a divorce to happen, a person cannot bemarried twice, unless they dissolve their first marriage. Anefficient divorce must take into account prenuptial and postnuptialagreements and be certified by law, (Gottman, 2014). Divorce is astressful process whereby the couple gets mentally distressed. Itleads to some individuals developing depression. In most cases, thecouple has already had a conflict that leads to the divorce process.Conflicts always ensue during and after the divorce proceeding(Kennedy, & Ruggles, 2014). However, this effect is not onlyexperienced by the parents but also the children, family and friends.The United States has higher rates of divorce, compared to othernations around the globe (Gottman, 2014). This report looks at therate of divorce in the US, the contributing factors and the effect ithas on the society.
Collaborative divorce is a traditional method of dissolving marriage where the couple comes to terms with the agreements and the conditions for their separation (Greenwood, Guner, Kocharkov, & Santos, 2016). The couple agrees to the resolution of the union with the assistance of attorneys. Once the proceedings kick off, the lawyers are prohibited from formerly filling cases for divorce in a court. This form of divorce empowers the couple to make their decisions and ask for whatever one likes according to their interests and responsibilities. This is substantially less expensive than the other methods (Greenwood, Guner, Kocharkov, & Santos, 2016). However, if the agreement fails to work, the documents, which the couple had agreed on cannot be honored or legally used to represent the interests of any of the parties. The disadvantage with this form of divorce is that there is usually no set timeline for the completion of the divorce process using collaborative divorce.
Mediated divorce is the form of a divorce proceeding where the couple agree to various terms of separation with the aid of a mediator, who regulates the discussion between the divorcees, and the ultimate legal dissolution of the union (Kennedy, & Ruggles, 2014). It is substantially less expensive, does not require attorneys and can be quickly finalized within a shorter period that the other forms of divorce. Either way, the marriage is dissolved, a property shared, and children are taken care of in such a way that they do not lack or become depressed.
Accordingto the American law and economic review, two-thirds of all divorcesin the United States of America are filed by women. In addition tothis, over 70% of all the cases were filed by women after theintroduction of no-fault divorce in most of the counties (Greenwood,Guner, Kharkov, & Santos, 2016). It is crucial to bear in mindthat marriage and divorce proceedings are affairs manned by thecounty government, not the federal. This is why the marriage laws andregulations may slightly vary within different counties in the US.The same study showed that women expect more advantages when singlethan being married to a person in an ineffective marriage (Kim, &Oka, 2014). Therefore most of them will file for the child custody,and in most cases, this is readily granted to them. However, in thelast two decades, the number of men fighting for child custody hasincreased significantly, which may be due to either poor parenthoodby the mother or the difficulty experienced in breaking the marriagebond between a family (Kim, & Oka, 2014). Either way, thechildren are significantly affected by all the proceedings, with someending up in depression.
Divorceis mainly observed among the middle-class families in the Americansociety (Moore, 2017). This can be attributed to the financial andresponsibility equality, which has been the norm for many couples inthe society today. Traditionally, the role of domestic chores andtaking care of children was delegated to the female spouses and theladies in general. However, the modern day women are keener on genderequality and sharing of roles. Most women today are educated,financially empowered and have a sense of independence in them. Intheir social circles, they motivate each other on freedom, roles, andpositions in the family. If one doesn`t feel that they are treated aswell as the rest of the friends in the social circle, they mightdefault in their routine chores and expect the spouse to change or toadjust accordingly (Gottman, 2014). However, not all men are ready tobabysit or carry out domestic chores. Therefore a conflict is likelyto ensue when such issues arise. None of the spouses will becomfortable with such matters. Therefore the wife feels that thehusband is irresponsible whereas the man feels that he deserves abetter life (Rotz, 2016). The conflict thereby develops and leads toa possible divorce.
Therate of divorce is the collective term referring to the number ofdivorce cases that occur in a given place for a particular period(Schaller, 2013). The term can also be used to refer to theprobability that a marriage will end up in a divorce case, ascompared to the death of a spouse. In the year 2002, research showedthat 29% of all marriages of individuals aged 15—44 years ended upin divorce within ten years of being married (Solomon, & Jackson,2014). Beyond the ten years window, data is lacking, but the ratereduces drastically, and the more stable the family becomes, as thecouple gets used to each other, and there are more common interestsin both parties that would rather be difficult to divide or abandon.A quick forecast on the marriage registrations across the UnitedStates of America shows that there are approximately half as manydivorces as marriages annually (Amato, 2014). This concludes thathalf of all the marriages in the US result in divorce. Furthermore,another study conducted in the year 2005 in the same country vividlyfound that 43% of all marriages involving the women aged 15-44 wouldexperience disruptions within 15 years (Solomon, & Jackson,2014). This was also attributed to the young age of which most peoplegot married, as some would go ahead to tie the knot even before their20th birthday. In the year 2012, there was a shocking revelation byPolitfact.com, which revealed after extensive research that thelikelihood of a marriage resulting in divorce was 40 to 50% (Amato,2014).
Accordingto research carried out by the University of Lower in 2011,concerning marriages and social relationships, it was concluded thatif a woman lost her virginity below the age of 18 years, she was morelikely to lose her marriage within a decade than those that weremarried virgins (Valenzuela, Halpern, & Katz, 2014). This isbecause those that get married, as virgins tend to uphold the maritalbond stronger and value it more than the rest. They considerthemselves as having less of a choice the rest always have an exitplan if things don`t go as expected. They also examined therelationship between the educational level of a couple and thestability of their marriage. Pew Research Centre did this evaluation.It concluded that 78% of women with a bachelor`s degree who gotmarried between 2006 and 2010 had an expectation that their marriageswould last for not less than twenty years. Those who were educated tothe level of high school or less only have a 40% similar chance thattheir marriage will survive for the same period. This is becausethose that are more educated know various ways of approaching theirissues as well as searching for help. Besides that, the more educatedcouples uphold themselves to cope with the influence and meet theexpectations of their partners, thereby reducing the cases ofunfaithfulness. However, this is not always the case.
Thedivorce rate in the United States of America has significantlydecreased. Comparing the rates of the year 1999 and those of 2012,there is a significant decline, per every 100 couples. Of allcounties, Nevada boasts of the greatest rates of marriage as well asthe highest divorce rates. The District of Columbia has the lowestrates of divorce thereby it can be said to have the most stablemarriages in the whole of the United States of America. However, thisdata comes from the country government authorities, whereas there isa high incidence of unregistered marriages in the state therefore itcannot be entirely relied on. This is especially magnified in areaswhere poverty is pronounced such as the shanties in the outskirts ofthe cities as well as violent neighborhoods, where people, especiallywomen have to endure marriages for fear of homicide or other forms ofviolence to force them to remain in the union.
Variousvariables have a considerable effect on the rate of divorce in anygiven society. To begin with, there is the racial and ethnicbackground of the individuals. Various cultural practices may beincompatible with some partners, causing conflicts that end up indivorce.
Secondly,there is religion. Religious controversies have always posed aheadache to multiple marriages, as each religion has its practices,which tend to become uncomfortable with some of the individuals inthe marriage. For example, the Islamic world and its religion arequite difficult to juggle with Christianity. A young couple caneasily cross this road only to realize later that the life is harderthan they anticipated, prompting them to get divorced as a resolutionto their issues.
Besidesinfidelity, unfaithfulness also involves not sharing various aspectsof marriage with one`s wife or husband. This leads to the loss of themarital bond. For example, celebrities and other high-profile couplesface various difficulties in their families and relationships due tothe number of friends they have, work with or interact with. Thesegroups expose them to loss of trust by their spouses as they mightspend most of their times with them. Such people also have many fansthat are ready to throw themselves at their mercy anytime, therebyfurther threatening the strength of the family bond. It is due tosuch issues that most celebrities rarely get into commitment easilyas their lives are mainly dotted with breakups and heartbreaks.According to a report by the American Psychological Association, mostcelebrities will avoid marriages due to the risk things turning eerieand the media using this to tarnish their names. Their marriagesoccur only under careful consideration, guidance, and absoluteconviction that it is the best choice for them.
Inaddition to that, a divorce in the family of origin of a couplesignificantly contributes to the probability of a marriage ending ina divorce as well. The American Psychological Association claims that60% of all marriages where the family or families of origin wereinvolved in divorce are likely to encounter divorce as well. This isa psychological association, where the two individuals have lessvalue of marriage and get into it with an exit plan, and a view thatone can always leave and lead the comfortable life they desire.Lastly, children have a significant influence on divorce. They helpmany families to avert divorce, as the emotional entanglement isalways less when there are no children involved. Couples often haveto subdivide the children among themselves, where some follow themother whereas the rest follow the father. The experience istraumatic for not only the children but also the parents. To avoidsuch suffering, some will opt to stay married for their children’ssake despite how hard the marriage is.
Variousterms have to be agreed upon after the divorce. The main factors areusually child custody and division of the property owned by thecouple. In America, various States have varying rules and regulationsfor groups of the shared assets during a divorce. The majordiscrepancy lies between the states that abide by the communityproperty system as well as those that do not. In the communityproperty states, the total wealth belongs equally to both couplestherefore, it is split for each party accordingly (Bac, et al.,2015). Counties such as Texas, Washington and much more abide bythis system. Alaska is an exception as it gives its residents thefreedom to create community property by a written agreement by bothparties (Bac, et al., 2015).
Onthe other hand, there those counties that follow the equaldistribution rates. In such counties, various factors are consideredthereby giving one of the spouses more or less than half of theproperty acquired or registered before marriage is seen as individualwhereas that gained in the marital union is considered communal. Insome states such as Wyoming, the academic qualifications such as adegree acquired during the marriage are considered as communalproperty. Hence the professional partner has to make payments to theother one. This will, therefore, involve a labor economist to valuethe degree and estimate the income brought about by the level,thereby giving each a fair share of the academic development.
Fora couple to consider a divorce, there must be a discrepancy betweenthem, leading to the break in the relationship (Fine, & Harvey,2013). During filing, the divorce can be expressed as either ano-fault divorce or an at-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is asituation whereby none of the partners has committed any crimeagainst the other or become unfaithful. It is only in some states,when the couple has discovered that there is a significantincompatibility between the two, therefore there the bond should bebroken for them to find something better for them. Only three statesrequire a mutual consent for the divorce to be granted (Fu, &Goldman, 2014). These include Mississippi, South Dakota andTennessee. The common grounds for the granting of a no-fault divorceinclude irreconcilable differences, irremediable breakdown of themarriage and incompatibility, which may not be admitted as a reasonfor filing a formal divorce (Fine, & Harvey, 2013).
Onthe other hand, an at-fault divorce is filed when a couple hasproblems resulting from various issues, which are formerly recognizedand admissible in court as grounds for divorce (Greenwood, Guner, &Santos, 2016). From a counselor`s point of view, most of thedivorces are caused by lack of commitment, too much arguing,infidelity and marrying too young. In addition to that, they can alsobe caused by unrealistic and unachievable expectations by either ofthe partners, failure to be properly prepared for the relationship,physical and emotional abuse and inability to agree on children, suchas the number, sex and separation age for the children. Besidesthose, there are those who file for divorce due to being denied ofbeing unsatisfied with the conjugal rights they have with theirpartners, yet they do not want to go out of marriage. In the Americansociety, the most common cause for divorce proceedings is infidelity(Greenwood, Guner, & Santos, 2016). Either of the individuals canbe involved in an extramarital affair without the consent of theother one, thereby leading to a conflict, which can lead toseparation and ultimately divorce.
Financialdifferences in the American family has become so magnified in themodern era that if the couple fails to discuss the responsibilities,positions, and decisions, one may end up disregarding the other one,breaking the respect and eventually getting into a conflict. Suchscenario is evident in cases where one spouse earns more than theother one, or one is more educated. The financial difference makesone feels more superior (Gottman, 2014). For example, if the wifemakes more than the husband or works in a more comfortable job, shemay feel more important and more contributing to the family than thehusband, thereby assuming a higher position in the household. Besidesthat, she may have to spend time with richer and more influentialpeople in the corporate world, thus making the husband to feelinferior. If the wife doesn`t contribute anything to the familykitty, the probability of a conflict rising is very high, which ifnot well resolved could lead to a possible dissolution of themarriage. This is a common characteristic of the American family, keyin triggering divorce proceedings (Oldham, 2016).
Breakdownof communication in a marriage is mostly fueled by conflicts, whichcan be caused by various issues such as infidelity or a sense ofinequality. According to the American Psychological Association, thismiscommunication grows and develops further, finally developing intoa physical separation, where one of the spouses moves out of thebedroom to either a guesthouse or to a separate apartment (Ellison,Wolfinger, & Ramos-Wada, 2013). Once it has reached this point,it is highly likely that the marriage will end up in a divorce.Although the offending partner may still have a different partneroutside the wedding, research shows that divorce is a painful anddistressing process, which is difficult to bear for anyone. Besidesthese, some couples break up due to addictions especially on drugssuch as alcohol, morphine, tobacco smoking and cocaine. Suchaddictions may be easy to deal with in the eyes of the offendingpartner, but to the other one, it can be quite a burden. Under theinfluence of substances, a person becomes abusive and inappropriatelyuncooperative for the other one, thereby leading to the grounds fordissolving the marriage.
Lackof equality in marriage is proving to be one of the principal causesof the high divorce rates in America today. Men have a tendency tofeel, act and assume a superior position in a relationship, whichleads to the discrepancy where the wife refuses to take the deputyrole (Booth, Crouter, & Snyder, 2015). This is evident in variousaspects of marriage such as finance management, domestic chores, andmajor family decisions. Once the husband takes such actions withouthaving consulted the wife it leads to a conflict where if the man isnot ready to back down and negotiate about family affairs, the issuecan lead to a divorce. This in most cases can give rise to a break incommunication, whereby the husband and the wife disagree on a matter,from there henceforth they fail to make up thus the conflict ensues.This is a common phenomenon in the American society, where many womenare housewives, thereby leaving the husband with all the exposure andthe freedom to decide for the family. It is, therefore, advisable forevery family to be consulting each other in every family affair,regardless of the minimal roles played by either of the spouses.
Asummary of simple divorce is opted for when the couple easily andequally agrees on some issues beforehand. The couples should alsomeet various eligibility standards, which are pressed upon by therespective state (Ellison, Wolfinger, & Ramos-Wada, 2013). Forexample, in California, for a simple divorce to occur, tenconsiderations must be adhered to.
The couple must have been married for less than five years.
During the marital period, the couple should not have acquired any real property, such as real estate or pieces of land.
The couple should not have rented any other assets, besides the one they live on currently, such as a business enterprise or a project being undertaken.
The couple should not owe anyone more than $6000 worth of debts since their date of marriage, as this burden will be left lying on one partner one the divorce is finalized.
Furthermore, the couple should own less than $41000 worth of community property, and
I should also have fewer than $41000 in a separate property, not counting the vehicles.
The couple has to agree to forego spousal support.
Lastly, the couple must have a signed contract that divides the property, debts, and residency between the two.
Bythe end of a simple device, there are no economic attachments to anyof the partners. Therefore each can quickly go their way.
However,despite a person`s will to file for a divorce and go separate ways,one can file for defense for an at-fault divorce in a court (Booth,Crouter, & Snyder, 2015). The first way by which a person canfile for divorce is by collusion.
Collusion is a legal agreement where two or more parties agree to limit competition by deceiving or any other approach that may lead to the disadvantage of the other (Marín, Christensen, & Atkins, 2014). When approved and filed, the couple cannot undertake a divorce, as such a document is approved by the court and prevent the divorce, unless it is challenged.
Condonation is the second way of preventing separation, where the accuser has previously forgiven or condoned the accused for a mistake they have been charged with committing before. It prevents the plaintiff from prevailing with their proceeding, thereby saving the accused from a court row (Marín, Christensen, & Atkins, 2014).
Connivance is where the court has assisted or collaborated the accused in convening a given act or wrongdoing, with prior knowledge (Booth, Crouter, & Snyder, 2015). The court can resist or cancel the allegations and prevent the proceeding. In divorces, this method can be used to implicate the suing couple and keep them from being granted it or from some benefits that they are entitled.
Provocation is the fourth way by which an individual can achieve protection against divorc. (Gurman, & Kniskern, 2014). Provocation occurs when the accused claims that the accuser started a series of events that are the cause for the loss of control by the individual and the final breach of the marital union. For example, if a man decides to sue the wife for infidelity as the grounds for divorce, the wife can claim that the husband used to bring people into the house whom he would leave there for weeks to go on business trips (Booth, Crouter, & Snyder, 2015). The court will consider that maybe the husband wanted the wife to get involved in an extramarital affair so that he could divorce her. Therefore, he set a trap. This is considered as a provocation, and the court cannot grant the divorce.
Recrimination is the fifth way of thwarting the divorce process. Recrimination is a court proceeding whereby the accused in divorce files a similar case in the court against the plaintiff for similar mistakes (Ellison, Wolfinger, & Ramos-Wada, 2013). For example, if the wife sues the husband for infidelity as the grounds for divorce, the husband can as well look for similar evidence and sue the wife as well for the same accusation. This is advised when the family has been dysfunctional for some period, but one spouse sues so that he or she can have an added advantage in the sharing of wealth.
Defensein most divorce cases is expensive but efficient. However, it is notalways effective as. Eventually, most of the divorces are granted andthe marriage dissolved (Voena, 2015). Their essence is only realizedwhere there is a lot of wealth involved and one of the parties doesnot agree to equitable and accepted sharing of the property. In sucha case, the lawyer is needed to negotiate the terms and present theargument to the court on behalf of the accused or the plaintiff.Comparative rectitude in the United States of America is a philosophyused when both spouses are guilty of breaches of the marital union toascertain the spouse that has more. These also have a lot to do withthe division of the family assets.
Childsupport and custody has always been a controversial issue in the UScourts, as the couple has to agree on child custody and visitationarrangements. The government is tasked with the role of ensuring thatthe disagreement between the parents does not spill over to childrenand the family courts. During the divorce proceeding, each spouse isthereby required to present a plan for parenting or to agree on childvisitation and custody either in written form or in the form of acourt hearing, once they divorce or separate legally. The spouse whois given the charge is given some monetary compensation called childsupport to compensate for their childcare expenses, which are greaterthan those of the other partner without the child custody. In mostcases, the partner without the childcare will have to meet costs suchas education fees or the mortgage. In most cases, if the husbandleaves the wife with the children, he might have to abandon the housewith the children for them to live in it independently.
Divorceis the legal dissolution of a marital union and prevention of furtherremarrying between the couple. It is the final step when marriagecannot be rekindles and worked upon any more. Various professionalassist one to work on their marriage but when it reaches to thedivorce level, the attorneys take care of the exchanges and ensuresuccess of the issue. When the process has started, it is quiteexpensive treacherous and final, as people who have divorced cannever remarry again. Both parties, not one, should work on marriageparticularly. Gender equality should be achieved regardless of thedifficulties. No single partner should feel neglected, looked downupon or used inappropriately. Divorce should be avoided at all cost,with people marrying only when they are sure of their decisions andpriorities in life. Marriage and family should be respected andhandled with care. This way, the divorces in America will reduce.Allin all, the marriages are formed and broken day in day out.
Amato,P. R. (2014). The consequences of divorce for adults and children: Anupdate. Pitanja, (1), 5-24.
Bac,M., Lim, C. S., Starr, S. B., Teitelbaum, J. C., Klick, J., Wright,J. D., … & Summers, L. (2015). Court-Ordered Campaign FinanceDeregulation and Stock Value of Contributors 1 Haitian Yuan On theSelection Effects Under Consent and Unilateral Divorce 43.
Booth,A., Crouter, A. C., & Snyder, A. (Eds.). (2015). Romance and sexin adolescence and emerging adulthood: Risks and opportunities.Routledge.
Ellison,C. G., Wolfinger, N. H., & Ramos-Wada, A. I. (2013). Attitudestoward marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and casual sex amongworking-age Latinos: Does religion matter? Journal of Family Issues,34(3), 295-322.
Fine,M. A., & Harvey, J. H. (2013). Handbook of divorce andrelationship dissolution. Psychology Press.
Fu,H., & Goldman, N. (2014). The association between health-relatedbehaviors and the risk of divorce in the USA. Journal of biosocialscience, 32(1), 63-88.
Gottman,J. M. (2014). What predicts divorce?: The relationship betweenmarital processes and marital outcomes. Psychology Press.
Greenwood,J., Guner, N., Kocharkov, G., & Santos, C. (2016). Technology andthe changing family: A unified model of marriage, divorce,educational attainment, and married female labor-force participation.American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 8(1), 1-41.
Gurman,A. S., & Kniskern, D. P. (2014). Handbook of family therapy.Routledge.
Herman,P. M., Mahrer, N. E., Wolchik, S. A., Porter, M. M., Jones, S., &Sandler, I. N. (2015). Cost-benefit analysis of a preventiveintervention for divorced families: reduction in mental health andjustice system service use costs 15 years later. Prevention Science,16(4), 586
Kennedy,S., & Ruggles, S. (2014). Breaking up is hard to count: The riseof divorce in the United States, 1980–2010. Demography, 51(2),587-598.
Kim,D., & Oka, T. (2014). Divorce Law Reforms And Divorce Rates InThe USA: An Interactive Fixed‐EffectsApproach. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 29(2), 231-245.
Larson,K., & Halfon, N. (2013). Parental divorce and adult longevity.International Journal of Public Health, 58(1), 89-97.
Marín,R. A., Christensen, A., & Atkins, D. C. (2014). Infidelity andbehavioral couple therapy: Relationship outcomes over 5 yearsfollowing therapy. Couple and Family Psychology: Research andPractice, 3(1), 1.
Moore,E. (2017). Divorce, Families and Emotion Work: `Only Death Will MakeUs Part`. Springer.
Oldham,J. T. (2016). Divorce, Separation and the Distribution of Property.Law Journal Press.
Rotz,D. (2016). Why Have Divorce Rates Fallen? The Role of Women`s Age atMarriage. Journal of Human Resources, 51(4), 961-1002.
Schaller,J. (2013). For richer, if not for poorer? Marriage and divorce overthe business cycle. Journal of Population Economics, 26(3),1007-1033.
Solomon,B. C., & Jackson, J. J. (2014). Why do personality traits predictdivorce? Multiple pathways through satisfaction. Journal ofPersonality and Social Psychology, 106(6), 978.
Valenzuela,S., Halpern, D., & Katz, J. E. (2014). Social network sites,marriage well being, and divorce: Survey and state-level evidencefrom the United States. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 94-101.
Voena,A. (2015). Yours, Mine, and Ours: Do Divorce Laws Affect theIntertemporal Behavior of Married Couples?. The American EconomicReview, 105(8), 2295-2332.
No related posts.