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Don Velasquez August 21, 2008

Writing in Discipline
MTH 1200-1330

Download Date: Aug. 19, 2008

A Bit about Divorce and the Effects of Divorce on a Family's Well Being
by NRS274

Boy meets girl. Girl and boy fall in love and get married. Girl and boy have children and life could not possibly get any
better. Many years later: Boy and girl start to notice something different in their relationship, something wrong. They decide
that their relationship is over, whether they're both happy with that decision or not and they divorce. Boy and girl's children see
them divorce. Children process the divorce in different ways, and it stays with them for the rest of their lives. People who
experience a divorce are affected by it, whether they want to be or not. More often than not, those effects are negative. Before
any parents make a rash decision, and before any children put judgment on their parents for messing them up, let's take a look at
the thing people call DIVORCE and how it affects those involved.

We all know what divorce is, but the official definition is very interesting and has a little more power.

Merriam-Webster defines it as such: 1 : the action or an instance of legally dissolving a marriage; 2 : separation,
severance; 3 a : to end marriage with (one's spouse) by divorce; b : to dissolve the marriage contract between; 4 : to terminate an
existing relationship or union ( As you can see, the definition of divorce doesn't include the words,
joyful, happy and wonderful, especially for children.

How common is divorce in America? Statistically a great amount of married couples in the United Sates are choosing
divorce. In 2003 in America, approximately 45 percent of couples in their first marriages ended in divorce. The divorce rate for
couples in second marriages was 58 percent ( Then there are those couples who have thought about
divorce, but for different reasons decided to stay married. A Gallup Poll in the United States found that 40 percent of married
individuals had considered leaving their partners, and 20 percent said they were dissatisfied with their marriage about half the
time (Olson and Defrain 1994, p. 6). According to the U.S. Census, the total numbers of U.S. divorces reported finalized
annually were 957,200 in 2000 and 944,317 in 1998. If Americans keep this rate up, we will proudly be reporting years from
now, an annual divorce rate of higher numbers than we would like to think of (

It is no secret that divorce is not the most pleasant event in a family. Parents should take note that psychologists around
the nation agree: Divorce can be a heartbreaking event to an entire family. Michele Weiner Davis, who is a therapist and Author
said: The decision to divorce or remain together to work things out is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It
is crucial for those considering divorce to anticipate what lies ahead in order to make informed decisions. Too often the fallout
from divorce is far more devastating than many people realize when contemplating the move. (Davis 1992, p.25)

These consequences of divorce can also include feelings that some couples don't anticipate once the divorce is over and
done with, and those feelings are ones of regret. In a study done by William J. Doherty, 66 percent of the divorced couples he
surveyed answered "yes" to the question, "Do you wish you and your ex-spouse had tried harder to work through your
differences?" 66 percent is a stunning number when you are talking about regret of a life altering decision (1999, p.6). Clearly,
divorce should not be a "spur of the moment" decision. The decision to divorce should be methodically thought through and
allowed plenty of time.

Some people may be exempt from the hard driven message of staying married that is enforced in this paper, because of
the certain type of situation they may find themselves in. We need to be mindful of those people who have elected to finish their
marriage. There are some situations where divorce should be considered a good option. These special situations make up several
different categories: Abuse-mental or physical, psychosis or extreme mental illness, chronic addiction and substance abuse
(Medved 1989, pp.103-130). Divorce in these situations is most often in the best interest of those involved, but that doesn't
mean that it will not affect them. In these special cases the effects of divorce can still be very severe. People, who divorce,
especially for the reasons noted, are often in need of help and support from all their social groups and most importantly, their
family and friends. This is definitely the case where children are involved. Going through a divorce is hard, and adjusting to it
can take a long time. Diane Medved also notes that because you may not know to what extreme the divorce can affect you,
couples, especially ones with children, should get counseling or therapy before, during, and after the separation for themselves
and their children. They should take advantage of organizations (religious leaders and community support groups) that can help
lessen the shock of divorce both before and after it happens.

In speaking of the effects of divorce, let's focus now on the children. Each year, over 1 million American children go
through the divorce of their parents; also, half of the children born this year to parents who are married will see their parents
divorce before they turn 18 (U.S. Census, 1992). Despite a general finding across many studies about negative effects on
children due to divorce, there are important qualifications of these findings. Overall, the children are more alike than different.
Dr. Paul Amato reminds us that average differences do not mean that all children in divorced families are worse off than all
children in intact families. However, there are effects on many children from divorced families who have significant problems
(1997, p.37).

A Factor that plays a huge part in a child's adjustment and management with divorce is the amount of parental conflict
in their parent's marriage. Children, who come from homes where parental conflict is high, are not worse off nor not better off
on the average. Compare them to children who come from homes where parental conflict is low and their parents divorce. The
children from low conflict homes have a much harder time coping and dealing with the breakup. Studies show that children who
come from divorced homes are at a disadvantage from the beginning because they are always compared children whose parents
are married. (Hansen 1999, p. 1)

In some cases, divorce can cause serious mental and emotional distress in children. In fact, a study done by Paul Amato
and Bruce Keith shows that children of divorced parents, compared with those living with married parents, scored lower on
measures of academic achievement, conduct, psychological adjustment, social relations, self concept, and the quality of mother-
child and father-child relationships. These children also scored significantly lower on measures of cognitive ability, social
ability, behavioral problems and attachment security (1991, p.4).

Children from divorced homes often suffer from low self-esteem, low sense of well-being, and a very low sense of self-
concept. Social researcher, Carolyn B. Murray, had this to say about the effects of divorce on children: I caught glimpses of a
long-term effect in my research that followed the children into late adolescence and early adulthood, but it's not until now--
when the children are fully grown--that I can finally see the whole picture. Divorce is a life-transforming experience. After
divorce, childhood is different. Adolescence is different. In my research, children from divorced homes, tended to have poor
student outcomes (i.e., lower academic performance, weaker self esteem, and increased behavioral problems), depression,
anxiety, and social detachment even before divorce occurs. Specifically, adolescents from pre-disrupted families have poorer
performance in every area of well-being (2000, pp. 475-490).

It is apparent that a large number of children who come through the experience of divorce later become capable and
stable adults, but it is also becoming more and more evident that many children of divorce are at threat for developing damaging
behaviors, personality disorders, and disruptive lifestyles.
Increasing evidence in social science journals makes obvious that the devastating physical and emotional effects that divorce is
having on children will last well into their adulthood. Along with these damaging effects are the following according to social
scientists for the Heritage Foundation of Family, Patrick F. Fagan and Robert Rector:
• Children whose parents have divorced are increasingly the victims of abuse. They exhibit more health, behavioral, and
emotional problems; are involved more frequently in crime and drug abuse; and have higher rates of suicide.

• Children of divorced parents perform more poorly in reading, spelling, and math. They are also more likely to repeat a grade
and to have higher drop-out rates and lower rates of college graduation.

• Families with children that were not poor before the divorce see their income drop as much as 50 percent. Almost 50 percent
of the parents with children that are going through a divorce move into poverty after the divorce.

• Religious worship, which has been linked to better health, longer marriages, and better family life drops after the parents

• The divorce of parents, even if it is amicable, tears apart the fundamental unit of American society. Today, according to the
Federal Reserve Board's 1995 Survey of Consumer Finance, only 42 percent of children aged 14-18 live in a "first marriage"
family—an intact two-parent family. "It should be no surprise to find that divorce is having such effects on society."

Recent research shows that a majority of children from a divorced family do not display the problems we just talked
about openly, and these problems cannot be outwardly noticed or measured. Sometimes children can suffer emotional problems
that go unnoticed because of the lack of display (Lauman-Billings and Emery 2000, pp. 680-687).
Not all children are the same. Some of the variables in the adjustment of children to parental divorce are (1) age of
child at divorce, (2) amount of conflict in the marriage, (3) access to both parents after the divorce, (4) adjustment to a step-
parent, if there is one and (5) access to other nurturing adults during the childhood years (Wagner, Johnson, Vandell, Burroughs
1997, p. 85). These elements can play a huge part in the severity of the effects that a child will feel. Their research has also
shown that children who go through a divorce will more than likely; experience negative consequences and the outcomes for all
individual children will offer a wide range of end results.

The aftermath of a divorce can even affect a child's intimate relationships down the road, for instance marriage and
dating. Children often hold on to their parent's attitude toward divorce when the children are in their late teens during the time
of their parents divorce. Also, children who are very young but also very religious also seem to hold on to their parents attitudes
toward divorce. The children's characteristics and relationship experiences are related to their attitude toward divorce. Having
divorced parents was very much so associated with significantly more relationship disruptions in the children's intimate lives,
but it didn't seem to affect the children's martial status. Thankfully relationship of marriage in a child's own life seems to remain
intact, even through parental divorce (Kapinus 2004, pp. 112-135).

In a study done by Judson T. Landis, 295 university aged students whose parents divorced before they were 16 years
old were asked whether or not their parents divorce had an impact on how they viewed marriage. 67.5 percent said that it has
made them more cautious about marriage, 60.0 percent said they were determined to make a better choice when it came to a
spouse, 76.9 percent said that it has made them more aware of the problems of marriage, 53.9 percent said it gave them a more
realistic picture of marriage (but how accurate is that picture?) , and 76.6 percent said that they were more determined to work
at having a successful marriage. Thankfully only 1.7 percent said that they were bitter about marriage and 1.0 percent said that
they never wanted to get married (1960, p. 11). Those numbers may give hope to those parents who may think they have ruined
their child's relationships for life, due to the optimistic nature of its statistics. If you finish reading this study, however, you will
find that the overall consequences of divorce on these 295 students were more negative than positive.
Divorce definitely affects children, but it also affects the parents as well. Is there something to help the parents? What if
there was a medication on the market that made you live longer, be happier, be more satisfied with your life and feel more
complete? Do you think it would sell very well? One would think it would be a best seller. What if you found out that
medication was marriage? Men and women who are married actually have a better general sense of well being compared to
others who are not. Studies have shown over decades that married people are healthier (physically and mentally); they live
longer, enjoy life and believe it is more fulfilled, and they seem to take better care of themselves as well as their spouse (Stanton
1997, p. 73). But does one see this type of information presented when the topic of family arises in popular debates? No.
Marriage seems to be a best kept secret; it is more than a legally binding piece of paper between two people. Divorce seems to
be the nemesis to a happy and fulfilled life.

According to the National Survey of Families and Households, 86 percent of married couples who stick it out through
the hard times found that five years later, they had a better marriage than ever, that they are happier in their life than they have
ever been, they feel better and they are grateful that they did not make a poor decision ( exact reference needed).
Despite this good news, couples are still divorcing and families are being torn apart.

Everyone goes through a divorce differently, but there is no doubt that divorce is hard for everyone involved. The
people who suffer the most are always the children. They are the future and they need to reach their full potential. By making
good decisions, we can raise them to far exceed their full potential. By being educated on divorce we make better decisions
about marital problems. Hopefully people will think twice about the future effects for them and their family before they ask for
a divorce. Remember, a divorce affects everyone involved, and those affects are almost always negative.
Download Date: Aug. 19, 2008

Divorce Argument Essay
By: Sophia87

Divorce has progressively become a common procedure worldwide, affecting not only parents and their offspring, but
also the communities that surround the family unit, and consequently presenting a terrifying threat for the affected child.
Nonetheless, regardless of the conventionality of divorce, it persists to affect various aspects of children's' daily lives and rituals.
Children and adolescents are consequently deprived of a customary and stable family upbringing and thus suffer the
disadvantages of a single-parent family structure. Divorce can be signified as a common legal procedure for the dissolution of a
marriage, which ultimately results in the separation of two parents and inevitable division of property and final custodial
guardianship of children. Psychologists have researched the effects of divorce upon children's' mental state, which can also
deteriorate later in adulthood. It can therefore be thoroughly justified that divorce is harmful to children's' moral well-being and

The injurious effects of divorce involve feelings of inadequacy, instability, deprivation and depression usually
culminating in resentment, aggression and mood alterations. Studies have distinguished that children and adolescents raised in
an intact family structure display evidence of disciplined behavior, as opposed to their counterparts that are often characterized
by delinquency and regressive attitude. Children experience extensive loss and unexpected change after the divorce of their
parents. The majority of the effects of divorce are unpleasant since children are deprived of a formerly familiar environment and
status in the community. Children typically experience grief and melancholia as they undergo through various mood changes,
involving overreaction, loss of personal identity and the inability to adjust to a differential setting. According to Nancy Dreger,
"In children, divorce can generate personal fears unrelated to their parents or the security of the environment: concern about
how friends will react to the news, fear of being embarrassed" (LIRN). Single parenthood creates potential unrecognized
problems for children. Divorce can significantly result in, "higher rates of school dropout, teenage pregnancy, [and] juvenile
delinquency" (Berlin, CYBRARY). Children habitually imitate their parents' behavior and following a major life change such as
divorce, they may attempt to release their withdrawn emotions through anger and participating in illegal activity.

An opposing viewpoint contradicts my perspectives on the detrimental impacts divorce poses for children and
adolescents in particular. Certain theories suggest that divorce is necessary and beneficial in providing relief to children who
experience negativity and depression as a result of conflict within the family unit. This argument maintains that divorce does not
harm children, who in fact engage in delinquent acts whilst cohabiting with their struggling parents in a violent atmosphere.

The Journal of Youth and Adolescence manifests that divorce does not damage a child's existence as, "being exposed to
conflict within the family in the form of arguments and violence is positively related to feelings of anger and depressed mood
among adolescents" (LIRN). The various authors of this complex article attempt to clarify that there is a definite correlation
between depression and anger as well as family conflict. The article distinguishes that divorce does not harm children but in
actuality provides relief from continuous turmoil and an oppressive environment. This argument is flawed for several specific
reasons. Primarily, children are not relieved by a temporary separation of their parents. The effects of divorce seriously inflict
psychological impacts upon a child. Within a family structure, children feel inevitably secure, supported and possess a distinct
attachment to their parents. Divorce ultimately demolishes all of these assurances leading to school dropouts, failure in
achievement, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, lack of interaction with peers, feelings of hopelessness and irritability.

Divorce presents multiple complications for parents to consider when reflecting upon the emotional and social issues
that children deal with. The dissolution of a marriage will create effects that may resurface in the child's life, in the form of
insecurity, propensity for divorce and disruptive behavior. It is quite clear that divorce extensively harms a child, regardless of
the child's age, gender and ethnicity. In the rapidly changing world that one inhabits, it is indispensable to consider the effects
of divorce upon children. This is necessary to maintain traditional nuclear families who continue to interact and offer support
for one another. Children portray the future generation of successful leaders and for this to be substantial, they must be mentally
stable and financially secure and able to depend on both biological parents. Divorce is realistically worse for children's
wellbeing than enduring an unhappy family situation.
Download Date: Aug. 19, 2008

For many people, their parents' divorce marks a turning point in their lives, whether the divorce happened many years ago or is
taking place right now.

About half the marriages in the United States today end in divorce, so children of divorce are certainly not alone. But when it
happens to you, you can feel very alone and unsure of what it all means. It may seem hard, but it is possible to cope with
divorce — and have a good family life in spite of some changes divorce may bring.

Why Are My Parents Divorcing?

Parents divorce for many reasons. Usually divorce happens when couples feel they can no longer live together due to fighting
and anger, or because the love they had when they married has changed. Divorce can also be because one parent falls in love
with someone else, and sometimes it is due to a serious problem like drinking, abuse, or gambling.

It's common for teens to think that their parents' divorce is somehow their fault, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Some teens may wonder if they could have helped to prevent the split. Others may wish they had prevented arguments by
cooperating more within the family, doing better with their behavior, or getting better grades. But separation and divorce are a
result of a couple's problems with each other, not with their kids. The decisions adults make about divorce are their own.

If your parents are divorcing, you may experience a lots of feelings. Your emotions may change frequently, too. You may feel
angry, frustrated, upset, or sad. You might feel protective of one parent or blame one for the situation. You may feel abandoned,
afraid, worried, or guilty. You may also feel relieved, especially if there has been a lot of tension at home. These feelings are
normal and talking about them with a friend, family member or trusted adult can really help.

How Will Divorce Change My Life?

Depending on what happens in your family, you may have to adjust to many changes. These could include things like moving,
changing schools, spending time with both parents separately, and perhaps dealing with parents' unpleasant feelings toward one

Your parents may go to court to determine custody arrangements. You may end up living with one parent most of the time and
visiting the other, or your parents may split their time with you evenly.

Some teens have to travel between parents, and that may create challenges both socially and practically. But with time you can
create a new routine that works. Often, it takes a while for custody arrangements to be finalized. This can give people time to
adapt to these big changes and let families figure out what works best.

Money matters may change for your parents, too. A parent who didn't work during the marriage may need to find a job to pay
for rent or a mortgage. This might be something a parent is excited about, but he or she may also feel nervous or pressured
about finances. There are also expenses associated with divorce, from lawyers' fees to the cost of moving to a new place to live.

Your family may not be able to afford all the things you were used to before the divorce. This is one of the difficult changes
often associated with divorce. There can be good changes too — but how you cope with the stressful changes depends on your
situation, your personality, and your support network.

What Parents and Teens Can Do to Make Divorce Easier

Keep the peace. Dealing with divorce is easiest when parents get along. Teens find it especially hard when their parents fight
and argue or act with bitterness toward each other. You can't do much to influence how your parents behave during a divorce,
but you can ask them to do their best to call a truce to any bickering or unkind things they might be saying about each other. No
matter what problems a couple may face, as parents they need to handle visiting arrangements peacefully to minimize the stress
their kids may feel.

Be fair. Most teens say it's important that parents don't try to get them to "take sides." You need to feel free to relate to one
parent without the other parent acting jealous, hurt, or mad. It's unfair for anyone to feel that relating to one parent is being
disloyal to the other or that the burden of one parent's happiness is on your shoulders.
When parents find it hard to let go of bitterness or anger, or if they are depressed about the changes brought on by divorce, they
can find help from a counselor or therapist. This can help parents get past the pain divorce may have created, to find personal
happiness, and to lift any burdens from their kids. Kids and teens can also benefit from seeing a family therapist or someone
who specializes in helping them get through the stress of a family breakup.

Keep in touch. Going back and forth between two homes can be tough, especially if parents live far apart. It can be a good idea
to keep in touch with a parent you see less often because of distance. Even a quick email saying "I'm thinking of you" helps ease
the feelings of missing each other. Making an effort to stay in touch when you're apart can keep both of you up to date on
everyday activities and ideas.

Work it out. You may want both parents to come to special events, like games, meets, plays, or recitals. But sometimes a parent
may find it awkward to attend if the other is present. It helps if parents can figure out a way to make this work, especially
because you may need to feel the support and presence of both parents even more during divorce. You might be able to come up
with an idea for a compromise or solution to this problem and suggest it to both parents.

Talk about the future. Lots of teens whose parents divorce worry that their own plans for the future could be affected. Some are
concerned that the costs of divorce (like legal fees and expenses of two households) might mean there will be less money for
college or other things.

Pick a good time to tell your parents about your concerns — when there's enough time to sit down with one or both parents to
discuss how the divorce will affect you. Don't worry about putting added stress on your parents. It's better to bring your
concerns into the open than to keep them to yourself and let worries or resentment build. There are solutions for most problems
and counselors who can help teens and their parents find those solutions.

Figure out your strengths. How do you deal with stress? Do you get angry and take it out on siblings, friends, or yourself? Or
are you someone who is a more of a pleaser who puts others first? Do you tend to avoid conflict altogether and just hope that
problems will magically disappear? A life-changing event like a divorce can put people through some tough times, but it can
also help them learn about their strengths, and put in place some new coping skills. For example, how can you cope if one
parent bad-mouths another? Sometimes staying quiet until the anger has subsided and then discussing it calmly with your mom
or dad can help. You may want to tell them you have a right to love both your parents, no matter what they are doing to each

If you need help figuring out your strengths or how to cope — like from a favorite aunt or from your school counselor — ask
for it! And if you find it hard to confront your parents, try writing them a letter. Figure out what works for you.

Live your life. Sometimes during a divorce, parents may be so caught up in their own changes it can feel like your own life is on
hold. In addition to staying focused on your own plans and dreams, make sure you participate in as many of your normal
activities as possible. When things are changing at home, it can really help to keep some things, such as school activities and
friends, the same. If things get too hard at home, see if you can stay with a friend or relative until things calm down. Take care
of yourself by eating right and getting regular exercise — two great stress busters!

Let others support you. Talk about your feelings and reactions to the divorce with someone you trust. If you're feeling down or
upset, let your friends and family members support you. These feelings usually pass. If they don't, and if you're feeling
depressed or stressed out, or if it's hard to concentrate on your normal activities, let a counselor or therapist help you. Your
parents, school counselor, or a doctor or other health professional can help you find one. Many communities and schools have
support groups for kids and teens whose parents have divorced. It can really help to talk with other people your age who are
going through similar experiences.
Bringing Out the Positive

There will be ups and downs in the process, but teens can cope successfully with their parents' divorce and the changes it brings.
You may even discover some unexpected positives. Many teens find their parents are actually happier after the divorce or they
may develop new and better ways of relating to both parents when they have separate time with each one.

Some teens learn compassion and caring skills when a younger brother or sister needs their support and care. Siblings who are
closer in age may form tighter bonds, learning to count on each other more because they're facing the challenges of their
parents' divorce together. Coping well with divorce also can bring out strength and maturity. Some become more responsible,
better problem solvers, better listeners, or better friends. Looking back on the experience, lots of people say that they learned
coping skills they never knew they had and feel stronger and more resilient as a result of what they went through.
Many movies have been made about divorce and stepfamilies — some with happy endings, some not. That's how it is in real life
too. But most teens who go through a divorce learn (sometimes to their surprise) that they can make it through this difficult
situation successfully. Giving it time, letting others support you along the way, and keeping an eye on the good things in your
life can make all the difference.

Reviewed by: Michelle New, PhD
Date reviewed: August 2007
Originally reviewed by: Ken L. Cheyne, MD
Download Date: Aug. 19, 2008

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse.

In cases involving children, governments have a clear interest in ensuring that disputes between parents do not spill
over into the family courts. One way of doing this is through the encouragement of a parenting plan. Every state now requires
parents to file a parenting plan when they legally separate or divorce.

Divorce can be contrasted with an annulment, which is a declaration that a marriage is void, though the effects of
marriage may be recognized in such unions, such as spousal support or alimony, child custody, child support, and distribution of

Divorce laws vary considerably around the world. It is banned in Malta and in the Philippines, but an annulment is

In some jurisdictions, a divorce must be certified by a court of law, as a legal action is needed to dissolve the prior legal
act of marriage. The terms of the divorce are also determined by the court, though they may take into account prenuptial
agreements or postnuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses have agreed on privately. Often, however, the
spouses disagree about the terms of the divorce, which can lead to stressful and expensive litigation. Less adversarial
approaches to divorce settlements have recently emerged, such as mediation and collaborative divorce, which negotiate
mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts. In some other countries, like Portugal, when the spouses agree to divorce and to the
terms of the divorce, it can be certified by a non judiciary administrative entity, where also can be served an Electronic Divorce
since March 2008.

The subject of divorce as a social phenomenon is an important research topic in sociology. In many developed
countries, divorce rates increased markedly during the twentieth century. Among the nations in which divorce has become
commonplace are the United States, Canada, and members of the European Union. Japan retains a markedly lower divorce rate,
though it has increased in recent years.


The approach to divorce varies by jurisdiction. There are two basic approaches to divorce: fault based and no-fault

Fault divorce can affect the distribution of property, and will allow an immediate divorce, in states where there is a
waiting period required for no-fault divorce.

Residency requirements vary from state to state, and a couple may separate, one spouse may move to a state with
divorce laws of their choice, establish residency, and then apply for divorce. However, this typically does not change the state in
which property and other issues are decided.

No fault divorce

Under a no-fault divorce system the dissolution of a marriage does not require an allegation or proof of fault of either
party to be shown. No-fault divorce has been in operation in Australia since 1975 and the only thing the applicant needs to show
is separation (or "deemed separation") for 12 months, and the divorce application can be made by either party or by both parties

Forty-nine states of the United States have adopted unilateral no-fault divorce laws. Common reasons for no-fault
divorce include incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, and irremediable breakdown of the marriage.

In England a to obtain a no fault divorce the time scales are 2 years if both parties agree and 5 years if one party does
not agree.

At-fault divorce
Fault divorces used to be the only way to break a marriage, and people who had differences, but did not qualify as "at
fault", only had the option to separate (and were prevented from legally remarrying).

In the United States, New York is the only state that still requires fault for a divorce.

However there are ways (defenses) to prevent a fault divorce:
* Provocation
* Condonation * Collusion
* Connivance

A defense is expensive, and not usually practical as eventually most divorces are granted.

Comparative rectitude is a doctrine used to determine which spouse is more at fault when both spouses are guilty of

Summary divorce

A summary (or simple) divorce, available in some jurisdictions, is used when spouses meet certain eligibility
requirements, or can agree on key issues beforehand.

Key factors:

* Short marriage (under 5 years)
* No children (or, in some states, they have resolved custody and set child support payments)
* Minimal or no real property (no mortgage)
* Marital property is under a threshold (around $35,000 not including vehicles)
* Each spouse's personal property is under a threshold (typically the same as marital property)

Uncontested divorce

It is estimated that upwards of 95% of divorces in the US are "uncontested," because the two parties are able to come to
an agreement (either with or without lawyers/mediators/collaborative counsel) about the property, children and support issues.
When the parties can agree and present the court with a fair and equitable agreement, approval of the divorce is almost
guaranteed. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, they may ask the court to decide how to split property, deal with the
custody of their children.

Collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce is becoming a popular method for divorcing couples to come to agreement on divorce issues. In a
collaborative divorce, the parties negotiate an agreed resolution with the assistance of attorneys who are trained in the
collaborative divorce process and in mediation, and often with the assistance of a neutral financial specialist and/or divorce
coach(es). The parties are empowered to make their own decisions based on their own needs and interests, but with complete
information and full professional support. Once the collaborative divorce starts, the lawyers are disqualified from representing
the parties in a contested legal proceeding, should the collaborative law process end prematurely. Most attorneys who practice
collaborative divorce claim that it can be substantially less expensive than other divorce methods (regular divorce or mediation).
However, should the parties not reach any agreements, any documents or information exchanged during the collaborative
process cannot later be used in further legal proceedings, as the collabrative process is confidential proceedings. Furthermore,
there are no set enforceable timelines for completion of a divorce using collabrative divorce.

Mediated divorce

Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce litigation. [2] In a divorce mediation session, a mediator
facilitates the discussion between the husband and wife by assisting with communication and providing information and
suggestions to help resolve differences. At the end of the mediation process, the separating parties have typically developed a
tailored divorce agreement that can be submitted to the court. Mediation sessions can include the party's attorneys or a neutral
attorney or an attorney-mediator who can inform both parties of their legal rights, but does not provide advice to either, or can
be conducted without attorneys. Divorce mediators may be attorneys who have experience in divorce cases. Divorce mediation
can be significantly less expensive than litigation. [3]. The adherence rate to mediated agreements is much higher than that of
adherence to court orders.
Download Date: Aug. 19, 2008

Positve Effects Of Divorce On Children
by: breakinglaces

What are the effects of divorce on children?

"The divorce rate among couples as of May 2005 has now come to about 38 percent." (National Center for Health
Statistics) This number, while seeming low does not accurately portray the situation. Each marriage involves two people, so
when doubled the number is a more accurate 76 percent of the population in the United States that have been divorced in their
life, not to mention the children that are also involved in the process. Divorce, while lengthy and sometimes hurtful, can be
beneficial to the children and spouses. Children coming from situations of abuse and neglect actually benefit from the
separation of parents. These parents may remain single or remarry, still studies have shown that the children have and are
thriving in a way they were unable to before the separation. While there are exceptions to every rule, the divorce has become a
positive alternative in some families.

Children coming from homes where violence and abuse is an ordinary occurrence, are not only victims in their
childhood, but are continually affected as adults. According to the Traumatogentic model, proposed by Dr. Finkelor (1987), the
abused child produces a number of different psychological effects and long term behavioral changes. Leaving a child in such a
situation would not only cause continual physical harm, but also the long term psychological problems. In such cases divorce is
encouraged for the benefit of both the spouse being abused and the child involved. After divorce children have been shown to
thrive in the new, abuse-free environment; showing improvements in their education, attitude, and overall social development.

Another factor of positive divorce is the presence of neglect in the household. Accumulating information from the
Attachment Theory proposed by John Bowlby in 1980, researchers have compiled evidence of the side effects of the lack of a
secure attachment to caregivers at an early age. Because of rejection and inconsistent attention, among other forms of neglect,
these children have "developed anxious, insecure or disorganized/disoriented attachments with their primary care providers"
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). With two parents this neglect from one or both can turn to a feeling of hatred
for one or both parents from the child. "This lack of secure attachment relationship then hinders the infant's or toddler's ability
to explore his/her environment and develop feelings of competence" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
Divorce here is an apparent necessity to the children involved. Based on the long term effects of neglect from numerous
studies, children are better with one parent that cares for them or a non-biological parent than two that do not accurately care for
the child's needs.

"While being exposed to the process of divorce, children have become aware that struggle is a normal part of marriage
and have been able to use their parents as examples. In a study done by "Psychology Today", twenty-eight college students
were interviewed to see how their parents divorce influenced their own current and past relationships. The group was divided
into three different groups according to their responses. The first group were named the "Modelers". This group mimicked
their parents relationship, continuing to be dysfunctional. The second group were the "Strugglers", this group showed a
cautiousness in trusting others and hesitancy in opening up to others. The third were the "Reconcilers". These students strove
to learn from their parents mistakes and the problems they witnessed, to create more successful relationships in their own lives.
The group that the students fell into also had to do with the type of relationship they had with their parents before the breakup
and after. It was found that the "modeler" group had "limited insight" to the problems that their parents were going through.
The "strugglers" lost touch with their parents and received little support after the divorce. In contrast, "reconcilers" kept touch
with their parents and were given positive reinforcement" (H. Parker). In these cases the students learned from their parents
divorce by example. Neither regretting their parent's decision nor harboring ill feelings toward them for the separation. Good
communication between parents and children was key to a happy outcome post-divorce.

In an interview done by Dr. Joyce Arditti of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, fifty-eight young women who were
raised by only their mother were asked their feelings on the situation. The women all agreed that the relationship between
themselves and their mothers could never be closer. The relationships evolved into that of a best friendship rather than an
authority figure and child. Although they are not the traditional mother-daughter relationships, they still provide support for the
child in all the ways that a typical mother could and even go beyond that to the type of support that only a friend could provide.
Growing up in a family with both parents present, was somewhat less than picture perfect in my own experiences. As a child,
hearing constant arguing from both parents caused me to have a bias opinion on the parent doing the least amount of yelling or
the parent that was fighting for my cause. This fighting being a constant in my life, made me wish that they would divorce, but
because of personal religious reasons they have not. This, in turn, causes me to have apprehensions about marriage and doubt
some of the stipulations that I was raised to associate with marriage. Divorce in my case would benefit my relationship with
both parents and ease my own apprehensions about marriage.

Divorce will always be a tough situation for the parents and children involved, but that does not mean that it has to be a
negative one. The term divorce has been, in recent years, coined with a negative connotation. This however, is out-dated and
one sided. With the recent studies and the help of psychologists, the term divorce has become somewhat less than taboo in our
society today.