Divorce in the United States Transitions and Family Problems
Divorce in the United States 9 out of 10 Americans will marry at some point in their life Approximately 45% of American marriages end in divorce today American divorce rate is higher than any other country in the world! Twice as high as the Canadian rate Four times as high as the Japanese rate Ten times as high as the Italian rate
Why is the divorce rate so high in the United States? 1) Individualism on the rise- families aren’t spending enough time together 2)Romantic love often subsides-once the “honeymoon stage” wears off, people often move on 3) Women are less dependent on men-financially women are more independent than ever before 4) Many of today’s marriages are stressful-since in most families both parents work, this increases stress in the family 5) Divorce is more socially acceptable-since divorces are more common, society is more likely to accept you being divorced 6) Legally, a divorce is easier to get-in today’s society it is must easier to get a divorce than in years past
Who has the greatest risk of divorce? 1) Young spouses, especially those in their teenage years 2) Couples with a brief courtship 3) Couples that lack financial stability 4) Those who marry due to an unexpected pregnancy 5) If one or both partners have a substance abuse problem
Who has the greatest risk of divorce continued… 6) People whose parents divorced 7) Individuals who are not religious 8) Partners who BOTH have successful careers 9) Individuals who have been divorced in the past 10) If the couple have yet to have children
Remarriage 4/5 people who divorce remarry, most within 5 years of the divorce Remarriage creates “blended families” which is more common than ever before Step-dads, step-moms, step-brothers and sisters…etc.
Which will it be: “Real Marriage” or “Marriage Light” A covenant marriage is a legally distinct kind of marriage, in which the marrying couple agree to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for divorce. The covenant marriage laws emphasize the belief that marriage is more than just a mere contract between two individuals, contending that without marriage, there would be no foundation of family in society and, in turn, no civilization or progress to follow. The movement sets out to promote and strengthen marriages, reduce the rate of divorce, lessen the number of children born out of wedlock, discourage cohabitation, and frame marriage as an honorable and desirable institution. As a law, covenant marriage is technically written neutrally with respect to religion, however it quickly became viewed as a religious form of marriage, due to its sacred historical background. Currently offered in Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona (other states are considering adopting it to law)
“Covenant Marriage” Questions: 1) Do you think it is easy for married couples to divorce? Why or why not? 2) Would you opt for a covenant marriage? Why or why not? 3) Should society try to keep people married who do not want to be? Why or why not?
Cohabitation The sharing of a household by an unmarried couple. 1970-approximately 500,000 cohabitation couples 2000-approximately 5.5 million cohabitation couples More common in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries; less common in more traditional nations such as Italy Tends to appeal to more independent individuals or those who favor gender equality. Also those individuals who do not want to commit to an official legal marriage
Singlehood Because 9 out of 10 Americans will marry in their lifetime we tend to see singlehood as a transitory stage. However, in recent decades more people have chosen to live alone. 1950-only 1 of out 10 households consisted of a single person 2000-1 out of 4 households consisted of a single person (a total of 27 million) Most striking is the number of single young women. 1960-28% of U.S. women 20-24 years old were single 2000-75% of U.S. women 20-24 years old were single Why?
Should we save the traditional family? In the year 1950-90% of U.S. households were classified as a “traditional family” Traditional family simply meaning one male and one female married (typically with children) In the year 2000-68% of U.S. households were classified as a “traditional family” So…should we have the traditional family?