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how divorce affects people and how society reacts to it

People expect marriages to provide the married couple with a sense of attachment, bonding, and social security. However, sometimes the expectations from the marriages are unfulfilled resulting in divorces. In American society, the rate of divorce is debated, but many believe the rate fluctuates between 40-50 percent(Parker & Stepler, 2017). Marriage failure has devastating effects on the divorcing couples, their children if the couple had children in marriage, and society as a whole.

Although there is not a single standard way of measuring the rate nor is there a standard method of measuring social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems for the person and the children, it impacts the economic, social, physical, and emotional well-being of a person as well as the children. Therefore, therapeutic and family-integrated interventions are crucial to stabilize and improve the socio-emotional stability of the person because divorce sometimes might cause isolation and antisocial behaviors in children as well as the person with many other psycho-social problems. The paper will define, describe, and explain the consequences and outcomes of divorce and society’s response and it will also assess the assessment strategies that are used to evaluate the person’s emotional, cognitive, and behavioral states and the interventions available in case of divorce.

Divorce is a separation and the permanent dissolution of the marriage between a married couple through legal means. As many people spend years with the same person and invest energy, time, and resources to develop the relationship, it becomes stressful when it does not work for a person(Amato, 2014). The reasons for divorce and marriage failure can be different for different couples, but some frequently mentioned reasons for divorce are lack of communication, commitment and compatibility, domestic violence, infidelity, constant arguments, financial issues, and addiction. Divorce can occur if there is no equality in the marriage and one person controls the relationship(Fine & Harvey, 2013). Due to a single or combination of some of these reasons many marriages fail. However, it is difficult to predict when the marriage will dissolve because every relationship is different and people handle their relationships differently. Conversely, it is difficult to predict the end of a relationship, as some people prefer to stay together rather than handle the consequences of divorce.

Although it is stressful to get divorced and manage the aftermath, it sometimes becomes essential to detach oneself from the distressing and unending arguments. The current statistics on divorce in the US show varying divorce rates, but most of the studies agree it falls between 40-50 percent. The reasons for the varying degrees of calculation depend on the methods used to measure a trend in marriage. Also, some states do not report their statistics on divorce to include in the statistics of divorce due to which the rate of divorce in America is debated. According to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate in the US was 3.2 per 1000 population based on the data from 45 states in 2016(“FastStats,” 2017). Therefore, the actual divorce rates in America are unconfirmed, but its impact on the people is evident.

Divorce can have detrimental impacts on the person as well as the children if the marriage is dissolved after birthing children. Divorce is a long process not after the initiation of the case but before that. It is hard to decide to leave when a person has lived, depended, and invested years in a relationship. It is difficult for the person to decide to leave or take the children without enough financial resources(Fabricius & Luecken, 2007; Fine & Harvey, 2013). Divorce displaces a person from the familiar place, and the person is left alone to handle the problems without the emotional, economic, and social support that the person has depended on. Therefore, it causes economic, social, and mental problems for the involved persons, among the divorcing and divorced couples mental stress, social anxiety, depression, mood swings, trust issues, sleep disruptions, isolation, aggression, and others. Divorced individuals are highly susceptible to heart and other physical diseases due to the high rate of alcohol consumption and risk behavior due to the stress and depression of divorce. Due to this in some cases, mortality rates increase among divorced couples. Although for most people, psychological distress might be for shorter terms, some people will have a detrimental long-term effect due to divorce(Adams & Coltrane, 2007; Fine & Harvey, 2013; Kramrei, Coit, Martin, Fogo, & Mahoney, 2007). Divorce can have long-term negative impacts if there are children involved and other factors such as duration and initiation. If a person had initiated the divorce that person might not be remorseful compared to a person whose partner has initiated the divorce.

Divorce also has a negative impact on the children because they are exposed to the process of arguments, taunts, and displacement. They are also deprived of the affection and warmth of their parents during and before the divorce which deteriorates the psychological and emotional states of the children. Children see separation and usually spend their lives with a single parent. The psychological, emotional, and social problems resulting from divorce lead to long-term as well as short-term problems for the children(D’ONOFRIO, 2011; Fagan & Churchill, 2012). The single parent children as a result of divorce face academic, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Although some of the children might not have long-term problems, they will face challenges after the divorce. The affected people might develop social isolation and difficulties with peers, some of the children also develop delinquent behavior and self-esteem problems following the divorce. The children might fall physically ill and develop a negative self-concept. The children are affected badly if the parents remarry to adjust to the stepfather and siblings. Consequently, it leads them to lack trust in marriage and tend not to marry (D’ONOFRIO, 2011; Fagan & Churchill, 2012). Hence, it changes the whole life of the children. In many cases, the children are more affected than the parents because they remarry and become busy with their lives but the children feel detached because of the new family and relationship.

The above-mentioned impacts of divorce were studied using various strategies. For example, to study the impact of divorce on children researchers have compared two kinds of sample children. One sample of children was from two-parent families, and the other was from families with divorced parents. The quasi-experimental design is used to study the impact of a variable on the children in a control group. It is also studied by comparing the adults who divorced and those without divorce. Also, reports from clinical consultations, surveys, and interviews are also conducted to assess the impact of divorce on adults and children. Background assessment of the delinquent, or socially anxious and reports from schools were also assessed to see the impacts of the divorce on children. Hence, researchers have used various methods to show the negative impacts of divorce on the well-being of the people(Adams & Coltrane, 2007; Amato, 2014; Fagan & Churchill, 2012).

Due to the intense research on the effect of divorce, many intervention strategies were considered to reduce the harmful impacts on children and adults. The introduced interventions are for pre- and post-divorce individuals, including educational interventions to raise awareness, teach coping strategies after divorce, or teach people to communicate(Adams & Coltrane, 2007; Fine & Harvey, 2013). There are also therapeutic interventions for children and adults after the divorce to stabilize and accept the trauma of separation. Some preventive interventions attempt to prevent the divorce from happening, but even after a divorce, many services are available to assist the people to cope with the separation. The interventions, whether social support groups for children and parents or counseling for the affected people are helpful in most cases. Therefore, the interventions aim to support adults and children struggling with separation in returning to normal lives. They are crucial for stabilizing and normalizing people with bad experiences in marriage. They help people with coping methods, stress management acceptance of the change, and adjusting their lives to the change with a positive attitude(Fine & Harvey, 2013).

Although divorce has a negative impact on the society, it is prevalent in the American society. The American people and the laws make it easier for the people to obtain a divorce when both parties agree or when one party files the case for legitimate reasons. Therefore, divorce is not considered a taboo in American society. However, the trends of getting married are changing. Instead many people live with their partners without marriage(Adams & Coltrane, 2007). Although the reasons for not marrying vary among the research participants, from financial instability to lack of preparedness, many of the respondents said they do not want to marry. For instance, 32 percent of adults aged 50 or older said they do not want to marry compared to 11 percent of young four-year college graduates (Parker & Stepler, 2017). Also, 45 percent of the previously married people said they do not want to remarry.

Moreover, organizations such as the Children’s Institute or the Institute of Child Psychology play an essential role in educating parents, teachers, and societies to help the children of divorced parents. These organizations and others help children by providing emotional support so that children can thrive. Similarly, Austin Institute and other organizations support research to develop new knowledge about family-related issues and trends(“Austin Institute | RESEARCH,” 2018). Furthermore, a psychiatrist is available to assist divorced people in returning to their normal lives and coping with depression and other divorce-related problems. The organizations train teachers to provide necessary emotional and adequate academic support to children with difficulties(“Institute of Child Psychology,” 2018). People, in general, or family members, are encouraged to listen to the problems and support children and adults with emotional needs. People can support divorced persons by keeping their privacy and respecting it without judging them. Listening to the victims and being with them helps the divorced person because they might be sad and want to talk about it. Hence, the family and community must support them without judging(Fine & Harvey, 2013).

To conclude, divorce can change a person’s life, negatively affecting the person and the children. Hence, they must have the right support from society and family. The people who are getting a divorce are losing their financial, emotional, and social support at least for the time being due to which society must help them. As it can have socio-economic, psychological, and physical problems such as heart-related disease for the couple, the whole community needs to intervene to provide support and teach them to learn coping methods. Also, the children must be focused on such interventions because they are the ones who suffer because of their parents’ incompatibility. Thus, people must intervene and support the divorced families and their children.


Adams, M., & Coltrane, S. (2007). Framing divorce reform: Media, morality, and the politics of family. Family Process, 46(1), 17–34.

Amato, P. R. (2014). The consequences of divorce for adults and children: An update. Društvena Istraživanja: Časopis Za Opća Društvena Pitanja, 23(1), 5–24.

austininstitute | RESEARCH. (2018). Retrieved from

D’ONOFRIO, B. M. (2011). Consequences of separation/divorce for children. Divorce and Separation, 7.

Fabricius, W. V., & Luecken, L. J. (2007). Postdivorce living arrangements, parent conflict, and long-term physical health correlates for children of divorce. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(2), 195.

Fagan, P. F., & Churchill, A. (2012). The effects of divorce on children. Marriage & Religion Institute, 12, 1–48.

FastStats. (2017). Retrieved from

Fine, M. A., & Harvey, J. H. (2013). Handbook of divorce and relationship dissolution. Psychology Press.

Institute of Child Psychology. (2018). Retrieved from

Kramrei, E., Coit, C., Martin, S., Fogo, W., & Mahoney, A. (2007). Post-divorce adjustment and social relationships: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 46(3–4), 145–166.

Parker, K., & Stepler, R. (2017, September 14). As U.S. marriage rate hovers at 50%, education gap in marital status widens. Retrieved from



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