Marriage Defenders

With Justice for ALL (quote from the pledge of allegience U.S.A.)

This is an informational website offering support not legal advise

What is Family Research Councils stand on divorce reform?

FRC believes there needs to be revisions in public policy that would increase the commitment of society to the institution of marriage, the protection of children and justice for innocent parties.
Action Needed: Reform of the current no-fault divorce laws in every state by establishing fault for grounds and dissolution where there is no mutual consent.

Summary and Rationale: the current situation began in 1969 when California passed the first "no-fault" divorce law. Intended to remove animosity during divorce, reduce perjury and collusion, establish standards for alimony and property awards and give relief to marital conflict, no-fault laws passes in 45 states in the next five years. By 1985, all 50 states had passed laws establishing no-fault divorce.

What have been the results of such a significant shift in the way that we view the marriage contract? We have shifted from a culture of marriage to a culture of divorce. Divorce rates have surged 34 percent from 1970 to 1990. It is estimated that one half of all new marriages will end in divorce. The United States is the divorce leader of the industrialized world. What are we communicating when it is easier to divorce your wife of 25 years that it is to let go that employee you hired two weeks ago?

More specifically, no-fault divorce has had a detrimental affect on the innocent parties involved, especially the children. No-fault divorce reduces the protection and negotiating rights of the spouse who wants to maintain the marriage. Divorced women experience a 30 percent drop in income the first year after a divorce. Three out of four teen suicides are committed by children from broken homes. Children of divorce are also 70 percent more likely to have been expelled or suspended from school, are are twice as likely to drop out of school. Of juveniles and young adults serving time in long-term correctional facilities. 70 percent came from broken homes.
No-fault divorce has not only added to societal problems, but it has not remotely addressed the problems it originally set out to solve. Animosity during divorce has simply shifted to animosity during the settlement. Fights over custody and support are more prevalent today and just as humiliating as those over grounds. In the overwhelming majority of cases before the adoption of no-fault grounds, there was no litigation at all, let alone hostile litigation. Perjury and collusion have also just shifted from the grounds arena to the collateral arenas of custody and visitation.

Dr. Allen Parkman has summed it up this way: "Seldom is U.S. history have laws been enacted with higher hopes and poorer results that the no-fault divorce statutes." Not surprisingly, in a recent FRC survey, by a margin of 55 percent to 31 percent, Americans said that they favor divorce reform to strengthen the rights of spouses who want to save their marriage.

Impact: Divorce reform will strengthen our families and society by increasing the incentive for spouses to invest in their marriage. It will offer justice for those who are unwilling parties of divorce, especially for any children involved.
Family Research Council on Divorce Reform - or is not responsible for any opinions expressed on this site.

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