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Chapter 15Divorce: Before and After • Today’s High Divorce Rate • Why Are Couples Divorcing • Thinking About Divorce: Weighing the Alternatives • Getting the Divorce • The Economic Consequences of Divorce
Chapter 15Divorce: Before and After • Divorce and Children • His and Her Divorce • Forming Families: the Next Generation • Should Divorce Be Harder to Get? • Surviving Divorce
Difficulties in Reporting Divorces • Number of divorces per year - There may be more divorces because there are more people. • Ratio of current marriages to current divorces - marriages took place in the current year, but divorces are from earlier marriages. • Crude divorce rate - includes those, children and unmarried, not at risk for divorce.
How Divorces Are Reported • Lifetime records of marriage and divorce - doesn’t apply to younger couples because socio-historical conditions change over time. • Refined divorce rate - does not predict whether one’s marriage will end in divorce.
Why Are Couples Divorcing • Loss of income increases the risk of divorce. • Marriage has been redefined as a nonpermanent union. • Spouses may enter the union with reservations and behave as if their marriage could end.
Why Are Couples Divorcing • Fewer social, legal and moral constraints. • Having divorced parents increases the likelihood of divorce.
Factors Associated With Divorce • Remarried mates • Cohabitation before marriage • Premarital pregnancy and child rearing • Remaining child-free
Perspectives: Negative Effectsof Divorce on Children • Life stress - accumulation of stressors results in problems for children of divorce. • Parental loss - assumes both parents in the same house is best for children. • Parental adjustment - quality of parenting is important in children’s adjustment to divorce.
Reasons for Negative Effectsof Divorce on Children • Economic hardship - assumes the economic hardship caused is responsible for problems faced by children with divorced parents. • Interparental conflict - conflict between parents is responsible for the lowered well-being of children of divorce.
His and Her Divorce • Both ex-spouses are victims. • The first year after divorce is stressful for both ex-spouses. • If economic discrimination faced by women and gender role expectations faced by men were eliminated, the difficulties could be alleviated.
Her Divorce • Women who were married a long time lose the identity associated with their husband’s status. • Older women have few opportunities for career development. • Divorced mothers must provide financial and day to day support for their children. • Custodial mothers struggle with money, scheduling and discipline problems.
His Divorce • Anger, grief and loneliness may be aggravated by the male gender role which discourages them from sharing feelings with other men. • Noncustodial fathers retain the financial obligations of fatherhood while experiencing fewer of it’s joys. • Visitation is often awkward and superficial.