What is the definition of a divorce? ‘A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage’. Wilson and Kidd, 1998.
How do we measure how many divorces occur each year? We use something called the divorce rate. Divorce rate means how many people are divorcing per 1,000 of the married population Separation and Empty Shell marriage
Divorce has increased over the last century, although not at a steady rate. There was a marked peak immediately after 1945, this was partly to do with backlog of divorces which was built up due to the delay of the Second World War. The Divorce Reform Act was introduced in 1971 . This act allowed an individual to petition for a divorce on the grounds of ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’.As you can see, after the introduction ofthe Divorce Reform Act (1969) in 1971there was an upsurge in the number of people filing for a divorce. www.statistics.gov.uk
There are two broad reasons for the increase in the divorce rate:1. Changes in society which has made divorce easier and cheaper. Its easier to get a divorce than a driving licence’ Sir Paul Coleridge. 1857 – divorce was largely open to men and had to be granted by an Act of Parliament, hugely expensive therefore only the rich could afford it. Remained in place till 1971.1949 -The Legal Aid and Advice Act provided financial help to those unable to meet the cost of divorce.
1971 – Divorce Reform Act of 1969 grounds for divorce was extended, couple could get divorced after they had been separated for 2 years, and neither partner had to prove ‘fault’.1977 – the rule that every divorce had to go through the courts was scrapped.1984 –Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act the amount of time before application for divorce was reduced from 3 to 1 year.1999 – divorce by filling in a form came in.
2. Changes in society which has made divorce more practical and socially acceptable. You have 15 minutes to create a short explanation for why each factor has led to an increase in divorce. 1. The changing role of women 2. Rising expectations of marriage 3. Growing secularization 4. Changing social attitude 5. The greater availability of, and more effective contraception 6. The growth of the privatised nuclear family 7. The reduced functions of the family 8. Increase life expectancy
Approximately 40% of all couples that marry will in the U.K will get divorce. In 1931, less than 4,000 people got divorced. In 2004 the number of divorces reached their peak at 165,000. In 2009 the rate fell to 113,949 but rose to 119,589 in 2010 a rise of 4.9%.
Although divorce rates are rising there are many divorcees who are remarrying.Official statistics show men are more likely to remarry than women. So why is remarriage popular? So why is remarriage popular? Those who seek divorce are not rejecting marriage but one particular partner – and they hope by remarrying they can find happiness. Divorcees with young children may want another partner to assist in bringing up heir children. Some people remarry for companionship. In some society marriage is still seen as a norm and a conventional thing to do.
Divorce can have consequences relating to the alteration of family forms and the affects divorce can have on the family members, especially children.
Draw out this chart below. In pairs think about the positive and negative consequences of divorce on the different groups. For the husband and For the family For the children wife Grow up in a happier environment.Positive Single parenthood Financial difficulties. can be difficult.Negative
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