No Fault Law and the Divorce Statistics
Summary: Relatively unheard of before, divorce is now frequent while divorce statistics reach its milestone with newer systems that allow dissolutions over varied grounds
While relatively unheard of before the century, divorce was now a common occurrence as divorce statistics reach a milestone high and newer systems allowed marriage dissolutions on assorted grounds. Most common cause, as most experts agree, is the recent no fault divorce law which a spouse can claim divorce without the usual fault finding of the other spouse. Literally it meant that either party of marriage could sue for divorce with superficial reasons like irreconcilable differences as claims. Though no fault divorce may be used where it can be beneficial to the affected parties, it also allow the easiest grounds for divorce, whether it is healthy to both parties or not is entirely another matter.
California was the first comprehensive no fault divorce law, and that being California comes as no surprise. This reform inspired a sensational debate with two camps claiming the best interest of each option. Then in 1970 the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws formed the U.L.A. Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act § 101 et seq. that provide no-fault divorce if the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken. While the no fault divorce law can be the best therapy to a broken marriage (e.g. exiting as friends), it can also spawn a number of casual marriages where unilateral divorce is always a common feature.
Though intended nobly, no fault divorce law only has heightened the divorce statistics as the numbers of casual marriages have become ordinary. Noted in The New York Times Maggie Gallagher of the “The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love” clearly states that no-fault implementation is related closely with the climbing divorce statistics in the last 25 years. And the number of unhappy marriages haven’t dwindled a single notch.
Divorce statistics in the US alone excluding non counting states is reported finalized annually is 957,200 in 2000. Compare it to the total numbers of U.S. marriages including all the states, reported are 2,355,005 in 2000. Do you want to check the figures? Here’s the link: www.divorcereform.org/98-00divorces.html
Take note the close competition of marriage and divorce statistics.
Other observers and statisticians not only commented the rising trend of casual marriages and no fault law causing the soaring divorce statistics. Other factors also include, such as the rise of cruelty of husbands to spouse, the emergence of feministic females that exert dominance on households and other media trends that promote infidelity and adultery.
Whatever the reasons for the skyrocketing divorce statistics, it seems culture is to blame. It only depends on where the blame issue is proposed, whether factors over law or custom or culture. Too bad, the church has lesser hold on governments and society today; it seems they are best at keeping divorce statistics at minimal.