MMBFD #9 Threats Resulting from the Breakdown of Marriages: Divorce (Marital Breakdown)

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  • Threats Resulting from the Breakdown of Marriages: Divorce (Marital Breakdown)
    • 1) Separation:
      • Reliable figures for separation are unobtainable, Chester- estimates that the number of recorded separations increased during the 1960's about 65%
      • Which refers to the physical separation of the spouses, they no longer share the same dwelling
      • This does not necessarily mean an increase in separations, since the number of unrecorded separations is unknown.
    • 2) Empty Shell Marriages:
      • Today, such marriages are likely to end in separation or divorce, although this type of relationship may persist for the sake of children or for religious reasons.
      • Is where the spouses live together remain legally married but their marriage exists in name only.
      • Estimates the extent of empty-shelf marriages can only be based on guesswork, however levels of divorce are now so high that it's probably true that more marriages break down today than they did several decades ago.
    • 3) Divorce
      • There has been a gradual increase "=(a few dips) with them peaking in 1993, at 154,000, before dropping to 113,7000 in 2009 (Social Trends 2011)
      • In 1911, 859 petitions for divorce were filed in England and Wales, of which some 3/4 were granted.
      • In 2009 there were 351 dissolutions, 127 partnerships between male couples and 224 between females couples.
      • Divorce refers to the legal termination of a marriage, since the Divorce Reform Act 1969
      • Even  though there has been a dip since 2003,, divorce rates till remain at a high level. This rise is not just for Britain but other industiralised societies i.e. USA.
      • Divorce has been granted on the basis of "irretrievable breakdown" and, since 1984 couples have been able to petition for divorce after the first anniversary of their marriage.
      • "Quickie" divorces are also available in which one partner has to prove the "fault" or "guilt" of the other, for matrimonial "crimes" such as adultery, although these tend to be costly.
    • Explanations for Marital Breakdown:
      • Amato (2010)
        • Identifies the following risk factors as being significant in addition to unemploy-ment:
          • marrying young.
          • Having a lower level of education.
          • Being poor
          • Cohabiting with your spouse or another partner before getting married
          • Having a child together before getting married.
          • Getting married to someone of a different ethnic background
          • One of your own parents have been divorced.
        • He proposes that some of these factors could lead to family discord over parenting of children, cultural differences  etc.
        • Other evidence suggests that those who cohabit rather than marry are avoiding the real commitment, however those who do cohabit and get engaged are less likely to get a divorce.
        • This lack of commitment by some is seen as individuals greater emphasis on individualism, freedom and choice.
        • Experience of your own parent divorce might be a factor in deciding where marriage is a life-long commitment.


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