Making Divorce More Difficult
Divorce reform advocates at the Coalition for Divorce Reform think making divorces harder to obtain would save the government billions of dollars. A story in the Washington Times reports that the Coalition for Divorce Reform makes the case for a legislative plan that will attempt to reduce divorce rates by a full third in just five years. The Coalition maintains that more Americans want to make divorce more legally difficult than the number of people who think divorce should be easier and that just one single parent family resulting from divorce can cost the government about $25,000 a year, making the annual toll an expense of between $33 billion and $112 billion a year.
Although state divorce reform legislation is uncommon these days and very few couples are expected to voluntarily enter into more restrictive marriages, most states have tried to make divorce easier in the past decade as evidenced by New York’s recent passage of no-fault divorce laws. Reformers at the Coalition for Divorce Reform say the societal consequences of divorce are obvious factors indicating the need for more restrictive laws. The Coalition pointed out that studies have shown the children of divorced parents are handicapped economically and prevented from reaching higher-income levels. It also cited research from Pennsylvania State University that shows if America had the same level of divorce as it did in 1960, there would be 70,000 fewer suicides, 600,000 fewer children undergoing therapy, 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency, 750,000 fewer children repeating grades, and 1.2 million fewer school suspensions each year. Although the Coalition for Divorce Reform says that the savings to taxpayers would be dramatic, it is very likely that the organization is going to have a tough time selling its plan to make divorce more difficult and restrictive in the current weakened economy.