Divorce is a judgment given by a court to end a marriage. It has resulted most of the affected children to live in single parenthood situations. Divorce in most cases is initiated by one of the disgruntled partners in marriage who feels that the expected outcome of the marriage is not imminent. Hilfer (2003) indicates that, traditionally, divorce began with sexual revolutions in 1960s and 1970s in the United States, and the chief contribution to the entire aspect of divorce was made in 1969 when California Governor, Ronald Reagan assented the nation’s first no-fault divorce bill. This jointly with the empowerment of women led into the rise in feminist succinctness to drive up cases on divorce.
Presently, many states in the U.S. are reviewing their laws with the objective of addressing divorce. No-fault divorce which was previously expected to make marriages more binding and fulfilling than come-we-stay arrangements in terms of permanence contributed to the increase in number of divorce cases instead. With the reason that it gave too much freedom to one spouse to willingly end their marriage with or without approval of the other spouse. This essay will inquire into the implications of these divorce reforms and advocate on the suitable path to take.
Hilfer (2003) found out that 50% of marriage cases end up in divorce. Basing on this alarming increase number of divorce cases, divorce should be made harder since divorces today have shifted from fault to non-fault. It has enormously switched the historical divorces where they were purely based on physical and emotional abuse, abandonment and adultery. Non-fault divorce is where either spouse can get a divorce one-sidedly by laying claims of incompatible differences.
Marriage is meant to be the central building block of the family and community. It ought therefore to be respected and given the seriousness it deserves. To ensure steadiness of the community, reforms must make divorce harder. In many religions, it is a covenant between the Creator and the two spouses who are considered as one. Just as Marquardt (2006) puts it, partners usually take vows to stay together always in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer until death do them a part. Once a couple has made this commitment and they abide by it, they are bound to respect the institution of marriage.
Sadly in case of a divorce, children are the greatest causalities of divorce experience, they lose so much. Beside them undergoing so much physical and emotional tortures, they acquire more hyper behavioral problems together with getting mediocre grades in schools as in comparison to their fellow students from intact families. Furthermore, they are constantly depressed due to stigma against them from their fellow students in intact marriages (Marquardt, 2006). Hilfer (2003) also found out that children from divorced families have a high rate of divorcing their spouses than children form intact families; that is about 45% of children from divorced families in comparison to 9% of children form intact families. Additionally, children form divorced families tend to acquire criminal behavior like committing suicide, unwanted early pregnancies and depression. This justifies why reforms should make divorce even harder.
To a comparable degree, Light and Taehyun (2010) sadly notes that husbands have more to loose from divorce than their wives, as it causes horrendous psychosomatic distress to them than their wives, since approximately two thirds of all the divorces cases are initiated by the wives. Moreover, when assets are being divided, the law leans to favor women as fault is being accounted for. Child custody and maintenance are also set for the wives more than the husbands. So, for husbands to be saved from this torment; reforms ought to make divorce harder.
Light and Taehyun (2010) further asserts that the expenses incurred in the process of divorce proceedings makes divorce so expensive to afford which is unpleasant to all. First it deprives the spouses and their children, and then it rewards the divorce lawyers handsomely, which ultimately makes the family lose a lot. Light and Taehyun (2010) advises that in this period of hard economic times, priority should also be placed on divorce costs.
Contrariwise, we all know that not all marriages work. There may be misunderstanding, infidelity, physical and emotional abuse. It would be worthless for a spouse to continue staying in a marriage where his/her rights and freedom are not acknowledged and respected. In such a case therefore, it will be prudent and fair that such a marriage to be terminated as the differences are incompatible. Making reforms harder for marriages that are characterized by abuse, abandonment, physical and emotional sufferings and torture will be the same as subjecting the victims to abusive marriages which is equivalent to life imprisonment. It would not be fair for the government to meddle with privates lives of its citizens, the citizens ought to be given freedom to make their own life choices inclusive of a decision of whom to live with at a given time.
In abusive marriages, the victims suffer a lot since both physical and emotional abuses have serious impacts on the health and personalities of the victims which results to unending bitterness and marriage conflict. Irrespective of this, making divorce harder is tantamount to telling the abused victims to stay where they are and continue suffering physically and emotionally, and it also means that the government does not care about its citizens’ welfare and most importantly it does not value life. For spouses who are in abusive marriages, divorce is their only solution.
Infidelity in marriage is a very serious offence and should not be taken for granted, it tortures the faithful spouse and lowers his/her self esteem, and furthermore is a sure-fire way and a gateway of contracting HIV/AIDS and STDs. Making divorce harder in such a scenario is calamitous to the faithful spouse, and the government on the other hand is helping to risk health situations.
In summary, reforms on making divorce laws harder appear to be not sincere as it is mostly driven by lawyers, social conservatives and religions. But be that it may, when marriages don’t work most lawyers, social and religious conservatives advocate for a divorce simply because, a man cannot be forced to be with a woman he doesn’t want to be with and similarly a woman cannot be force to be with man she doesn’t want to be with.