.. inues her argument by following with, Prevention is the best solution to any problem. While an educational program can’t prevent all divorce, it does lay the groundwork for stronger unions. Families educated about problem-solving skills have a better chance for successful relationships. Ager has a different view. She says, Human relationships are fragile and prone to disease.
Not all marriages deserve to be saved, and I’d argue that divorce has redeemed more human spirits than it has doomed. She then goes on to ask: …what about encouraging women to become financially self-sufficient before they become mothers? What about keeping better track of dead-beat dads? What about government-financed day care? What about training husbands and wives to enter divorce, for the sake of their children, not as a war but as a creative project for change? These are all very good questions that must be considered when forming opinions on the no-fault divorce debate. One section of Ager’s article really caught my eye. It is as follows: Even now, in households were divorce is taboo, children grow up learning the ways of love from moms and dads who never embrace, who rarely laugh together, who fail to demonstrate that arguments can end with compromise and forgiveness. These moms and dads become role models for bitterness, resignation or both.
This is good for the kids? This teaches them commitment? No wonder commitment gets a bad rap, promising dullness and ache. Can mandated premarital counseling…..help keep two people happily together until death? Chances are slim…..Premarital counseling can’t hurt, but it won’t train couples for marriage’s surprises any more than a flight attendant’s routine safety speech will prepare passengers for terror in the air. You gotta live it to know it. Not only do individuals have opinions, but each state has come up with some ideas of their own. In States Put Minor Speed Bumps In Divorce Path: No-Fault Backlash, Ann Tyson discusses the decisions of some states.
Several states require mandatory parenting classes and plans. In Iowa, for instance, it is required that parents take classes so that they may better understand the practical and emotional impact of divorce on children. In Michigan, it may be required to submit detailed parenting plans that cover issues such as visitation, discipline, and education. (Tyson 1-2) Delaying divorce is another topic discussed in Tyson’s article. Bills in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Idaho have required that marriage counseling and long waiting periods take place before divorce.
In some states it is required to take a series of one-hour counseling sessions before divorce, while in other states, a one-year waiting period has been put into effect. (Tyson 2) Maybe the smart choice is strengthening marriage bonds. Tom McMillen, director of the Rocky Mountain Family Council in Denver, Colorado, said, Marriage is not just a lifestyle choice, it’s a critical institution that allows our culture to move forward. Some states such as Minnesota and Michigan agree with McMillen and have instituted premarital counseling, rather than pre-divorce counseling. We have to decide what is more important to our society.
Research shows that divorced women suffer a drop in income ranging on average from 30 percent to 70 percent. More than half of all female-headed households with children live in poverty, compared with only 10 percent of all other families with children. Medical experts say that men who divorce are to experience greater health problems and higher rates of suicide than married men. Are these things devastating to our society, or do we need to look at the other side of things? Without no-fault divorce, many people may become trapped in abusive relationships. There may be an increase in desertion.
One spouse may be lead to use bribes or threats to win the consent of the other to end marriage, thus creating the return of blackmail under the old fault-based system. (Tyson 1-3) Maybe the topic isn’t the narrow one we perceive it to be. Maybe the topic evolves more around family itself. Midge Decter does an excellent job of discussing family in her article, The Madness of the American Family. She explains how a family compares with a rock, and not the Garden of Eden.
A rock, can be far from a comfortable place to be. But, she says, living on a rock keeps you out of the swamps…The most dangerous of these swamps is a place of limitless and willfully defined individual freedom. The land of limitless freedom, as so many among us are now beginning to discover, turns out to be nothing other than the deep muck and mire of Self. She continues, The only escape from the swamp of Self is the instinctual and lifelong engagement in the fate of others. Decter discusses how being in a family may not make you happy, but it makes you human.
She goes on: Together, marriage and parenthood are the rock on which human existence stands…[and] No matter how ardently a young man and woman believe they wish to spend their lives with one another, and no matter how enthusiastically they greet the knowledge that they are to have a baby, they do not undertake either of these things in full knowledge of the commitment they are undertaking….they do not know that they are embarked upon a long, long, and sometimes arduous and even unpleasant journey. (Decter 1-19) Marriage, family, and divorce, are three controversial topics that each person must deal with in their lifetime. The great thing about them is that we are each allowed to have our own opinions about them. Maybe you haven’t picked sides, and maybe you haven’t heard enough to make a stand, but hopefully this article has got you thinking. I myself have not yet chosen a position on the topic. No-fault divorce has such a complicated base.
Each marital problem causes rise to newfound solutions concerning divorce. Every person comes up with their own opinions. Each state has its laws, its bills, and its proposals to solve the problems concerning marriage and divorce. The nation finds such problems floating above its head, waiting for someone, or something, to take hold and decrease its power to control the people within it. Nevertheless, Dector reminds us not to get frustrated about such topics when she says, All this should be a very simple matter; God knows, it’s been going on long enough.
So why have we fallen into such a state of confusion? Bibliography WORKS CITED Dalman, and Susan Ager. Abolish No-Fault Divorce? Divorce Online. 14 February 1996 Decter, Midge. The Madness of the American Family Policy Review. September-October 1998 Gallagher, Maggie. Why Make Divorce Easy? Current Issues and Enduring Questions.
Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Publishing, 1999. 17-18 Tyson, Ann Scott. States Put Minor Speed Bumps in Divorce Path: No-Fault Backlash 10 September 1996 (http:/www.rmfc.org/newsitem.html) Whitehead, Barbara Dafoe. The Making of a Divorce Culture The Aims of Argument. Timothy W.
Crusius and Carolyn E. Channell. California: Mayfield Publishing Company. 2000. 484-491 Social Issues.