Divorce (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
The legal dissolution of a marriage.
The divorce rate in the United States began rising in the 1960s and continued for more than two decades, with a decline in the trend in the 1990s. In 1960 the divorce rate per 1,000 population was 2.6. By 1980, the rate had reached 5.2 and in 1990 dropped to 4.7. This decline continued to 4.3 in 1997. Based on current societal trends, researchers project that 40 to 50 percent of all first marriages in the United States will end in divorce.
Possible factors for the high incidence of divorce include the enactment of "no-fault" divorce laws that make it easier legally to get divorced; a decline in the number of couples who stay together for religious reasons; the increased financial independence of women; conflicts resulting from the growing number of dual-career marriages; and a greater social acceptance of divorce.
Divorce is generally preceded by a breakdown in communication between the partners. Research indicates that marriages may also breakdown because of the manner in which couples argue and attempt to repair their relationship after quarreling. Other factors leading to divorce include alcoholism and drug abuse, domestic violence, extramarital affairs, and desertion. Divorce generally causes significant stress for all family members. After the death...
(The entire section is 662 words.)
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Divorce (Encyclopedia of Children's Health)
Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage.
More than 1 million children each year experience their parents' divorce. Less than 60 percent of American children live with both of their biological parents; about 25 percent live with their biological mother only; and about 4 percent live with their biological father only. The remaining 11 percent live with step-families, adoptive parents, foster homes, or with other relatives.
In 2002 it was estimated that up to 30 percent (19.8 million) of children in the United States, representing 11.9 million families, lived in single-parent households. While the number of single mothers has remained constant through the 1990s and into the early 2000s at 9.9 million, the number of single fathers has grown from 1.7 million in 1995 to 2 million in 2002, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2002, 19.8 million children lived with one parent. Of these, 16.5 million lived with their mother and 3.3 million with their father.
In 2002, fewer than half of single-parent children under the age of 18 received any financial support from the non-custodial parent. The income of more than one third of these households fell below the poverty level. The...
(The entire section is 2014 words.)
Divorce (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A court decree that terminates a marriage; also known as marital dissolution.
A divorce decree establishes the new relations between the parties, including their duties and obligations relating to property that they own, support responsibilities of either or both of them, and provisions for any children.
When a marriage breaks up, divorce law provides legal solutions for issues that the HUSBAND AND WIFE are unable to resolve through mutual cooperation. Historically, the most important question in a divorce case was whether the court should grant a divorce. When a divorce was granted, the resolution of continuing obligations was simple: The wife was awarded custody of any children, and the husband was required to support the wife and children.
Modern divorce laws have inverted the involvement of courts. The issue of whether a divorce should be granted is now generally decided by one or both of the spouses. Contemporary courts are more involved in determining the legal ramifications of the marriage breakup, such as spousal maintenance, CHILD SUPPORT, and CHILD CUSTODY. Other legal issues relating to divorce include court jurisdiction, antenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and the right to obtain a divorce. State laws govern a wide range of divorce issues, but district, county, and family courts are...
(The entire section is 4010 words.)