Divorce History Increased divorce rates in recent decades have been experienced not only by the United States but by other industrialized countries as well. Divorce does not carry as much social disapproval today than in the earlier part of this century. Divorce is more common today than it
Divorce/Remarriage Statistics Approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form stepfamilies One-third of individuals who got divorced in 2008 were redivorcing, that is, divorcing again 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce 42% of adults have a steprelationship--either a stepparent, a step or half sibling, or a stepchild. This translates to 95.5 million adults. 13% of adults are stepparents (29-30 million); 15% of men are stepdads (16.5 million) and 12% of women are stepmoms (14 million).
Different Types of Divorce Contested Divorce – Divorce in which one party files for divorce and the other party files an answer and tries to prove no grounds exist or files a summons and complaint against the other spouse. Non-contested Divorce – Divorce in which both parties agree to the divorce. Enoch Arden Divorce – Divorce that may be granted if a married person disappears for a stated period of time and it can be determined that an effort was made to locate that person.
No-Fault Divorce Before the latter decades of the 20th century, a spouse seeking divorce had to show cause and even then might not be able to obtain a divorce. The legalization of no-fault divorce in the United States began in 1969 in California, and was completed in 2010, with New York being the last of the fifty states to legalize it However, most states still require some waiting period before a divorce, typically a 1– to 2–year separation.
The Facts Incompatibility as grounds for divorce means two spouses are unable to live together. A large majority of divorces are not contested.
Divorce Around the World Presumably due to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, divorce became legal in Brazil only in 1977. The French Civil code (modified on January 1, 2005), permits divorce for 4 different reasons; mutual consent (which comprises over 60% of all divorces); acceptance; separation of 2 years; and due to the fault of one partner (accounting for most of the other 40%).
Divorce Terms Summons – Means by which the defendant is notified that a divorce action has been brought against him or her. Annulment – Legal termination of a marriage relationship in which the court rules that the couple were never legally married. Legal Separation – Legal agreement made by marriage partners to live
Grounds for Annulment Common grounds for annulment: ◦ Concealment of disease ◦ Financial misrepresentation ◦ Concealment of a previous marriage or divorce ◦ Marital infidelity
The Facts Most Americans believe that it is correct for unhappy married couples to divorce. No-fault divorce eliminates the need for proving one partner guilty. Under some circumstances, children of annulled marriages may be considered legally illegitimate and may lose their right to inheritance.
Divorce Terms Child Support – Money that one separated or divorced parent pays the other parent to support the couple’s children until the children reach the age of 18. Community Property – Any property acquired through the labors of either spouse during their marriage.
Divorce Terms Separate Property – Property that can be positively shown to have been owned prior to marriage or acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance and retained separately. Insupportability – Inability of the couple to support a continuing relationship of marriage. Desertion - Refers to abandonment of the marital partner.
Social View of Divorce Most social scientists believe the divorce rate in the United States is higher today than it was early in this century because: ◦ The success of a marriage today is viewed more in terms of personal happiness than it was early in this century. ◦ The social stigma attached to divorce has decreased in recent decades. ◦ Opportunities for women to become financially sufficient in careers outside the home have increased in recent decades.
Why A Divorce May Happen A divorce can be granted on the following grounds: ◦ Incompatibility ◦ Separation (living apart for a specified time). ◦ Alcohol or drug addiction ◦ Desertion ◦ Abuse ◦ Cheating
Predictors of Divorce The following are predictors of divorce: ◦ Age (16-21 years of age) ◦ Low Income ◦ Parents who have divorced ◦ The 4 Horsemen
The 4 Horsemen of Divorce Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington has done extensive research on what causes marriages to work. He and his team have also arrived at some important conclusions as to what causes divorce. From their research, they have found four predictors of divorce. Based on these four factors, which they call "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," they can predict with more than a 90% accuracy who will divorce.
The 4 Horsemen of Divorce The four predictors are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. Even though any of these issues could be present in any marriage at some point, it is the accumulation of these problems that warrants danger.
Criticism Criticism - Losing the positive mental attitude toward your spouse and developing a critical spirit. All of us see problems in our spouse, but we must also see the good and keep the disciplines of thanks, praise and complimenting one another alive and well. Without this, criticism is inevitable and dangerous.
Defensiveness Defensiveness - Not allowing your spouse the right to complain. All of us are imperfect and need the input and perspective of our spouses. When we won’t allow our spouses the opportunity to complain, it bottles up anger in the relationship and also implies that our spouses are the cause of the problems.
Contempt Contempt - Long term anger that hasn’t been dealt with properly causes bitterness, lost passion and a contempt for others. When you haven’t forgiven your spouse for something they’ve done, contempt is inevitable. Contempt is often expressed through name-calling, cursing, verbal abuse and rejection.
Stonewalling Stonewalling - Refusing to participate in a civil discussion of an issue or issues so they can be resolved. This can be demonstrated through obstinance, silence or a long term refusal to yield on a subject. Stonewalling is a very dangerous trait because it emotionally abandons your spouse and leaves problems unresolved.
Tips for Preventing Divorce I will leave you with four disciplines that provide a solid foundation for lasting success in marriage. ◦ Stay positive and compliment each other every day. ◦ Be humble and approachable. Let your spouse say how they feel without paying a price. ◦ Forgive every day. Don’t let your heart become hard or your spirit become bitter. ◦ Stay committed to your spouse and your marriage. Never go to bed on anger or stonewall on an issue. Even if you need to cool off for a while — come back and talk things out.
Alimony Alimony – Money paid by the primary wage earner to the other marriage partner during and after a divorce. Rehabilitative Alimony - Refers to temporary support provided by one former spouse to enable the other former spouse to update or upgrade his or her job skills and ability to earn a living.
How much will one get? Alimony is determined by the following situations: ◦ The couple’s standard of living. ◦ The primary wage earner’s income.
Children grieving in divorce Denial – Children feel the need to believe that their parents will get back together or they will change their mind about the divorce. ◦ Example: ―Mom or Dad will change their mind‖ Anger – Children feel the need to blame someone for their sadness and loss. ◦ Example: ―I hate dad for leaving us‖
Children grieving in divorce Bargaining - In this stage, children feel as if they have some say in the situation if they bring a bargain to the table. This helps them keep focused on the positive that the situation might change and less focused on the negative, the sadness they’ll experience after the divorce. ◦ Example: ―If I do all of my chores maybe Mom won’t leave Dad‖
Children grieving in divorce Depression - This involves the child experiencing sadness when they know there is nothing else to be done and they realize they cannot stop the divorce. The parents need to let the child experience this process of grieving because if they do not it will only show their inability to cope with the situation. ◦ Example: ―I’m sorry that I cannot fix this situation for you.‖
Children grieving in divorce Acceptance – This does not necessarily mean that the child is completely happy again. The acceptance is just moving past the depression and starting to accept the divorce. The sooner the parents start to move on from the situation the sooner the kids can begin to accept the reality of it.
From a Child’s Point of View A toddler will not understand as much as a 5-year old understands, etc. Studies show that children experience the greatest impact from divorce within two or three years of it’s occurrence. At each age, there are certain feelings and
Infants Toddlers Infants do not Toddlers understand that understand anything one parent no longer about separation or lives at home, although divorce, but they do they don’t know why. notice changes in their Toddlers cry more and parent’s responses to become clingy. them. Parents can provide Infants may experience nurturing and changes in their eating or reassurance. sleeping patterns. Parents should try to keep a normal routine. Infants and Toddlers
Preschoolers Elementary School Children Preschoolers still don’t Elementary children understand what believe that their parents separation or divorce don’t love each other and means, but they know know they won’t be living their parents are angry together any longer. and upset, and they live Elementary school apart. children feel deceived. Preschoolers feel a Parents can encourage sense of loss and sorrow. their child to talk about Parents can tell their the divorce with them, child that they are not relatives, or family responsible for the friends. divorce. Preschoolers and Elementary School Children
Preteens and Adolescents Preteens and adolescents understand, but usually do not accept, separation or divorce. Preteens and adolescents often become very angry. They may feel disillusioned, betrayed, or rejected by one or both of their parents,. They may lose trust in relationships in general.
Preteens and Adolescents They may become depressed or withdrawn, or may threaten suicide. Parents can give their children time to discuss their feelings. They can follow established routines as much as possible. Parents can continue to monitor their children’s activities: where they are, what they’re doing, who they’re with.