First Wives World has a special interest in the findings of a study by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy on no-fault divorce. The IMAPP study concludes that no-fault divorce rates have increased by about 10%.
The increase over a 10-year period is largely due to the fact that it's easier to secure a divorce in most states without acrimony. The researchers examined every empirical study of no-fault divorce, in the U.S. and abroad and found increased divorce rates after no-fault laws were implemented. The number of divorces grew between 5% and 30%. But after about 10 years, the no-fault impact starts to decline.
No-fault divorce laws are intended to make it easier to walk away from a marriage. They eliminate the need to find one partner in the wrong. In fact, all a spouse has to do is leave the "marriage home" and assert "incompatibility" or "irreconcilable differences" and the marriage can be dissolved.
Divorce laws aren't the primary reason for the divorce revolution. There are plenty of cultural factors that have evolved over time that have contributed to the relative ease of getting a divorce including the women's movement, greater sexual freedom, women working outside the home now enjoy good salaries along with the erosion of the norms that support marriage. While the divorce rate for college-educated spouses has been dropping, non-college-educated men, facing declining wages, are feeding the divorce mill.
I believe that divorce has negative and lasting effects on children. Some have suggested we should make it more difficult for families with children under the age of 18 to secure a no-fault divorce.
What's good for the children should be a factor in any divorce. Divorce also makes women and children poorer. These children face increased chances of being abused or becoming involved in crime. More teen moms are often a by-product of divorce even with step-parents present.
Should divorce be made more difficult to obtain? There are mixed feelings out there. What do First Wives World readers think? We'd love to hear your comments.