Academic Master


Divorce in the American Families


The paper is going to present the finding of the research about the topic of divorce in relation to the American families today. The modern families are trending on issues on marriage and divorce is a trend on issue can’t be left unnoticed. The research sources information data and statistics from articles from newspapers, journals, press and also from the internet. The subject of research takes the following approach guidelines;

  • What is divorce?
  • Grounds and origin of divorce
  • Leading causes that are resulting in a divorce in Americans families
  • Aftermaths of the divorce process; effect to children, divorcing partners, financial impacts and the effect of divorce on the society.
  • Is there a bright side after divorce?
  • Ways to solve on increasing marriage disputes and divorces on Americans families today
  • Conclusion based on the finding of the research


Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage union. It is the termination of a matrimonial union when spouses fail to agree on issues facing their marriage hence the reason for the separation. By this, there is the reorganization or the legal duties and abandoning former obligations in the union setup. However, the dissolution of the marriage should not be mistaken by the annulment of the marriage, legal (de jure) separation or de facto when the spouses stop cohabiting topic of divorce in the country inescapable. Popular celebrity in the like of Dwayne Johnson divorced her wife Dany Garcia after ten years of marriage. Denise Richard, an actress, and Carlos Estevez divorced just after three years of marriage on the grounds of alcohol and drug abuse. According to data retrieved from CDC (2014) divorce rate in America has doubled over the period. 40-50% of the couples will either end up separate or divorced marriage in united states is approximately at 6.8/1000 population. Out of this, 3.2/1000 population, in married women is 16,9 /1000 women and almost two-thirds of divorce are filed by women. Us is currently ranked sixth in divorce cases worldwide with Russia leading the list. There was a case scenario of a family divorce in my neighborhood that triggered me to pick the case topic of divorce in the modern family. This gave the urge to deep digger and research on the origin, causes, and grounds of divorce and the effects of marriage dissolution on the children, economic issues in the family and on the divorcing partners

Grounds and Origin of divorce

The term divorce originates from Latin word ‘divortere’ meaning to separate or turn into different ways. Originally, the procedure of divorce was easy, and divorce were the norms of every marriage. On the Roman era, the husband only needed to issue his wife with a divorce certificate in presence of witnesses. After Christianity domination, medieval churches discouraged divorce. In America, differences on divorce on different states pertained. In the majority of the states, the spouse seeking the divorce was required to present the ‘fault’ or the reason for the divorce. Such fault included adultery abandonment, cruelty illness or other reasons. Despite the presentation of the claims, the process was against the public interest and civil court more often failed to grant the dissolution. Americans from strict states would move to ‘divorce mill’ states to achieve faster divorces. After the ‘no-fault’ divorce law was brought into practice in California 1990, other states followed the suit and the process eased.

In present, divorce in the country in the country is under the jurisdiction of state government. Grounds for the divorce are the regulations that govern the circumstance that allows for divorce in the country. in all the states, the process of divorce requires a legal process and the approval of the court or any other legal authority where the law outlines the guidelines of the general, divorce is based on two grounds: fault and no-fault based. Fault divorce requires the couple to provide reasons and allegations as to why they need to have the divorce. The couples are also required to provide proof of the acquisition provided. The partner accused of the allegation can file a defense to the faults to prevent the process from happening. However, the defense is always expensive and the divorce ends up in happening this used to be the only way to carry out the process and a difficult no-fault divorce, an allegation and proof for the acquisitions are not required so as to grant the process. This makes the process the legal process easy since no requirement or reason for the divorce is needed. Grounds and faults to divorce include, adultery, drug abuses, imprisonment, domestic violence and constant arguments, desertion, untreatable illnesses or mental or another form of disabilities.

When the court approves the divorce, the sanction may involve the issue of spousal support (alimony), the mandate on the custody of the children and guidance of child visitation for the other spouse, child parenting, support and distribution of wealth or debt accumulated over marriage period. The wealth may be distributed equally or in percentages, depending on how it was acquired .After the legal process the spouses are declared single and are free to remarry again.

States impose the minimum period marriage should last before filling for a divorce with Idaho and Nevada with the shortest period of one and half months. No fault grounds is allowed for both unilateral and mutual contest apart for a few states that do not allow unilateral contest.

In a covenant marriage, couples restrict themselves for going for a divorce and instead opt for counseling and mediation.

Causes of divorce.

Infidelity is unfaithfulness in marriage due to intimate or having a practical love affair with someone else without the consent of the spouse. The extramarital affair is perhaps the most common cause of the breakdown in most marriages which would later lead to the dissolution of the marriage. Lack of intimacy affection with your spouse, lack of sexual appetite with one’s spouse, long distance relationships among other causes. According to an article in, Infidelity begins with an innocent relationship “it starts as an emotional affair which later becomes a physical affair”(Shellie, 2018)

Money and financial issues: According to research carried by Citibank, 57% of marriage divorces is cited to money problems. Financial problems include disagreements over resources obligations, struggle over who to control the money and other resources, sabotages over extravagancy usage of money, fear of one spouse making more money than the other among other communication pertaining money. The money is a major cause of marriage breakdowns in many families.

Quick marriages: Partners may rush into marriages and later find they were not meant for each other.suprisingly, couples blame each other for being unprepared. According to research, highest rates of divorce in such marriages happens to couples in the age 20’s. And the divorce happens in the first years of their marriage anniversary

Drugs and substance abuse: Drugs and substance abuse may also be other reason to divorce. After marriage, the partner may develop an addiction to drugs such as alcohol, cigarettes or other types of hard drugs. This may have a negative impact on the marriage. The other partner may fail to tolerate these behaviors and hence file for a divorce

Weight gain, outgrown each other: Partners may change abruptly over time on physical appearance or even on characters. A spouse may gain excessive weight, or develop a character that affects the self-esteem. With this, Couples may start feeling uncomfortable with each other and this ends up in lack of intimacy later may lead to divorce.

Lack of communication: Communication is a crucial element in marriage and when withdrawn such marriage will no longer work. A spouse may stonewall to avoid disagreements and hence fail to cooperate in finding a solution to the problem facing them.keeping secrets and failing to be transparent is one of the effects of lack of proper communication in the marriage. Communication forms basis of a successful marriage and when one of the spouses fails to communicate and express his or her take in issues involving their marriage, there is every possible cause of a breakdown and later to divorce

Perceived lack of care affection and intimacy: Couples living together with no passionate feelings of connection to each other end up being like roommates rather than spouses. When the couple stops loving and caring for each other they end up being like strangers and the only thing they will think of will be divorce.

Unrealistic expectations: Couples who get into marriage with lofty expectations may end up hurt when it dawns on them that the expectation can’t be achieved.

Constant arguing: Couples who keep on arguing and always tend to disagree on almost on everything have zero chance of couping up together and keeping their marriage. Partners who keep on having the same arguments over and over feel they are not heard and listened too or their opinion not being respected. The opposite couple may also be reluctant to listen feels he or she is ever wright. Such couples end up on divorces.

Effects of divorce

a) Effect on children

When things don’t go right in the marriage, children suffer most from the fault .despite the innocence of the soul’s children are the most doleful victims of this battle. Short-term effects of the divorce may cause the child be aggressive and violent, having fear of being abandoned, lack of concentration in class, loss of social interaction intense and bedwetting for young children. For long-term effects, Kids may develop peculiar behavioral and others tend to stay away from any kind of social interaction. Divorce menaces the children feature life by lagging their academic progress. Research shows children from families undergoing divorce or divorced are likely to perform poorly in their academics. Divorced parent has less time to supervise and guide the children in their studies. The children will tend to marry and cohabit earlier, there are increased cases of teenage pregnancy. Feature effects include having children out of wedlock, experience divorce or separation while other may decide never to get married at all.

b) Effects of divorce on older parenting

Research from Agree and Glaser (2009) shows older separated fathers have poor relationships with their children compared to a normal family. Another research shows that Old aged parents over the age of 70 years or with disabilities are less likely to care and affection from their stepchildren compared to the biological children. Biological children are likely to provide affection three or four times compared to the stepchildren.(Pezzin, Pollak and Schone, 2008)

c) Impact on the divorcing partners

Divorce may be a form of relief to the partners from a burdened marriages. One will get the time and freedom to do whatever one wishes without fear of any obligations, relief from annoying in-laws. However, according to the sociologist, Victims of the divorce inherent various longterm economic, physical, mental health and social consequences. Anger arising from the divorce may introduce one into crimes and sink into drug abuse in order to overcome the emotions. Individuals may experience stress, mood swings, irritability or depression

d) Effects of divorce on financial stability.

When couples separate, their joint economy is separated and will likely to weaken thereafter. This is due to the increased expenses of running the household separately as well as the cost occurred during divorce and thereafter. Research shows that divorced spouses need on average 30% more income to maintain the standard they were living prior to the divorce (Deborah 2016)almost half of the American families that undergo divorce end up in financial crisis and poverty. 75% of women who file for welfare benefits are forced to due to their disrupted marriages. Divorce has devastating effects on family income and on the future generation. Example, family income for children living with both parents is averaged at 43000 dollars compared to income for children living with divorced parent corresponding to 25000 dollars. Divorce also reduces the household net worth substantially

e) Divorce and the impact on the society

The nucleus and the building unit of the society is the family setup. Breakdown of marriage will hence threaten society stability what image does divorce parents display to the society, to the children who look upon the divorcing parents and to the young copies out there who are about to get the believers is divorce right in God’s eyes? It leads to questioning whether marriages are worthwhile or are families important anyway. To the sociologist, marriage does more than just union of two people. It provides hope for the society to thrive and become productive. According to legal zoom article, society that hopes to flourish and perpetuate needs to honor the a normal family unit and rear children every responsible manner.(Vrouvas 2016)

Divorce breed poverty to the society particular to children and to the ladies who surrendered their jobs to marriage and are later left helpless. After the divorce, 77-88% of mothers and children are left in the wrath of poverty.

f)Positive sides of a divorce

Research also shows that divorce may deliberate on from the slavery of abuse, torture and safe one from the negative influence of bad partner. It gives one a freedom of life to choose what one feels to do with or her life without having any obligation ties.

Divorce is only advantageous when the marriage is high conflict and separation is the only way to keep the children from the physical and mental torture and hostile environment. The child will also become less prone to addiction

Conclusion and possible measures

Divorce is the most difficult period during the life of a married couple. Marriages will never be smooth always and disagreement will always be evident in any marriage, however, divorce should not be the answers to the problems, couples are advised to use other ways of settling their disagreements with help of marriage experts. Research carried at the University of Chicago shows that couple is no happier than before the divorce. People who marry similar spouses are less likely to divorce. According to a newspaper article, “married people are better off compared to their single counterparts” (Bella 2018)


Bella, D. (2018) There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be Single; The Cut. Newspaper Article retrieved from

Deborah, F.(2016)Financial Planning; Personal Finance Tips: How To Deal With the Financial Impacts of Divorce. Article retrieved from

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Hetherington, E. M. (Ed.). (2014). Coping with divorce, single parenting, and remarriage: A risk and resiliency perspe Kennedy, S., & Ruggles, S. (2014). Breaking up is hard to count: The rise of divorce in the United States, 1980–2010. Cherlin, A. J. (Ed.). (2001). Public and private families: A reader. McGraw-Hill Humanities Social.

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Oldham, J. T. (2017). Divorce, Separation and the Distribution of Property. Law Journal Press.

Pezzin, L. E., Pollak, R. A., & Schone, B. S. (2013). Complex families and late‐life outcomes among elderly persons: Disability, institutionalization, and longevity. Journal of Marriage and Family75(5), 1084-1097.

Shellie, W. (2018) Most Common Reasons for Divorce.retrieved from htpps://

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