Divorce is the dissolution or termination of a marital union. It is the reorganizing or cancelling of legal responsibilities of the marriage, thus breaking the bonds of matrimony between a husband and wife under the rule of law of a given country or state. Annulment declares the marriage null and void and, therefore, annulment is not a divorce. Divorce as a legal process comes along with some factors, which involve the distribution of property, child support, child custody, spousal support, child access, vision of debt and parenting time. In many countries, monogamy is required by law so divorce will allow former partners to remarry. In countries where polygamy is legal, but not polyandry, divorce permits a woman to marry a new husband but prohibits a man from remarrying. Some countries such as Vatican City and Philippines, also referred to an ecclesiastical state, do not allow divorce because their legal systems has no procedures for divorce.
Survey questions on divorce
1. Does a couple need to be separated before the divorce is filed?
2. What are the basic grounds for divorce filing?
3. What are the difference and the similarities between divorce and annulment?
4. Is it compulsory that the spouses have to agree on the divorce before it is filed?
5. Can one apply for divorce if the spouse’s location is not known or if the spouse lives in a different state?
6. What if all parties belong to the members of military forces. Can they meet domicile and residence requirements for divorce?
7. What are the basic steps to follow in order to file a divorce suit?
8. What consideration does the court make to determine how matrimonial property can be divided?
9. What factors would the court consider for it in order to establish the amount of spousal support to award a party?
10. While the case is still pending in court, does spousal support become available or it will only be available when the divorce has become final?
11. Who takes the responsibility of the child welfare?
12. If the parents do not reach an agreement on the child custody and the issue of visitation, on what basis will the court make a decision on this issue?
13. How long is a party obligated to pay spousal and child welfare support?
14. What are the remedies if a party fails to fulfill his/her obligation on support payment?
15. Once the divorce is finalized, can one continue to use former or maiden name?
Age, Education and Divorce
Education and age are the two factors that play a role in determining whether the couples are likely to split up or not (Jasper & Margaret, 108). The lowest divorce rate is experienced in couples who marry late and who are more educated. The highest divorce rate is seen in most couples who marry early in life and with less education. It is suggested that, one reason for the age factor could be attributed to the fact that as people grow older, they have better sense on their preferences and will most likely be able to get a partner who matches their preferences. Young people’s marriages are considered to be rushed. This is because, at a younger age, couples are locked out of general life experiences by the commitment to the marriage, and, therefore, fails to fully understand their preferences, thus making blind choices for a partner.
People have better senses at the age of late 20’s and early 30’s. Things become worse with time for couples who marry young. This can be attributed to the factors such as difficulty to balance work, community and leisure. It is a standard assumption that people who wait longer before marriage are more mature; make better decisions on picking partners who are more likely to remain faithful and ready to get devoted to a marriage life (Jasper & Margaret, 118). In addition, people who pursue higher level of education have college experiences, which correlate with an intelligent quotient, which is strongly related to divorce. A likelihood of divorcing at any given year is highly related to age. Young people in the peak of their sexual power are more likely to divorce than the older people. The high rate of divorce in young couples is also attributed to their perception on ability to remarry. It is difficult for older people to remarry as compared to young people. Young people are more devoted to a group regardless of their marriage; this limits their commitment to the marriage thus leading to divorce.
There is a decline in the divorce probability and increased marital stability for more educated people as compared to the less educated (Jasper & Margaret, 119). People with more education receive more income. The financial stability enables such couples to smoothen the rough edges of their relationship, and this result to fewer divorce cases. Among women, the rate of divorce is high for those who received high school education but have not advanced to the university level. Highly educated women have the lowest share of divorce.
Religion and Divorce
The reasons for divorce vary depending on a member’s religion. There is a strong correlation between adherence and practice of religious faith and the divorce rate (Levinger & Klaus, 89). Different people have different perceptions on religion, marriage, spiritual principles and divorce. In the law, marriage is a legal act but on the religious view, it is a long-term commitment before God. In the case of divorce, marriage has a legal consequence that is relevant, and which does not depend on spiritual beliefs or religion in which one got married. Different religious groups look to the issue of divorce differently.
Christian churches do not support divorce. However, their toleration to divorce vary in different Christian denominations. Roman Catholics treat all sacramental marriages as permanent during the lifetime of the spouses. Remarrying after one has divorced is not allowable if the other partner is still alive. This has led to reduced incidence of divorces compared to other Christian denominations.
The Indian religion does not have a provision for divorce. Buddhism does not have religion concept on marriage; it presumes marriage as secular affair subjected to local customs.
In Islam religion, divorce is allowed. They consider marriage to be a legal contract and divorce is a legal way of dissolving the contract. However, divorce is the most hated lawful things in the eyes of God (Allah). The main reasons for divorce in Muslims include adultery, pressure and issues from the in-laws, incompatibility and haram sex.
Judaism accepts divorce as a part of life that is unfortunate. The religion maintains that it is good for a couple to divorce instead of remaining together in a state of bitterness and suffering. Judaism believes that the domestic agreement is the desired state.
Gender and Divorce
Remarriage after Divorce
Some people will opt to remarry after divorce while others will prefer not to. The probability of remarriage can vary differently based on the status of the past relationship, age, gender, level of interest to establish a new relationship, among other factors (Levinger & Klaus, 91). Based on research, men are more likely to remarry than women. The rate of remarriage varies depending on ethnicity; it is common for white women to remarry as compared to black women. Another factor that influences the rate of remarriage is age. Younger women are likely to remarry than older women of over 25 years of age. Furthermore, higher rates of remarriage are experienced in men and women with children. Community setting also influences the rate of remarriage. Divorced women from areas with a significant proportion of unmarried women are less likely to remarry; this applies to divorced women in urban areas.
Some women go into cohabitation relationships instead of remarrying after divorce. This is common in white women than in black women, for women with few or no children, for women with no religious affiliation, and those who are economically stable.
Divorce and Children
Divorce is a stressful thing to both the parents and children. It is associated with a diminished psychological wellness in children and state of great unhappiness, life dissatisfaction, depression among other effects (Levinger & Klaus, 98). It leads to children being alienated from their parents. Divorce affects the academic and socioeconomic wellbeing of the children. Children who frequently experience divorce perform poorly in academics. They also achieve the lowest level of socio-economic status, income and in wealth accumulation.
The rate of divorce is low for spouses with children. This is because they fear the consequences of divorce to their children. Most couples opt for other ways of resolving their differences such as visiting marriage counselors. However, most of the parents are willing to compromise, and learn to live with the weakness of their partner for the sake of protecting their children’s interests.
Divorce can be a very stressful experience, which will results to negative effects on the entire family. Divorce can affect living arrangements, affect family finances, parenting, schedules, household jobs and the worst of all, it will psychologically and socially affect children. The issue of divorce and the rates of divorce can be determined by many factors. Age and educational levels are the main factors, which determine the rate of divorce occurrence. Other factors that play a role in the cases of divorce are the religion, gender, and the presence of children.
Jasper & Margaret C. Marriage and divorce. Oceana: 3rd Edition, 2008.
Levinger, George Klaus. Divorce and separation: context, causes, and consequences. Basic Books, 1979.