Divorce

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Divorce: The Rise and Fall and Societal Impacts
By: Melissa Levine
Sociology 2010-Brown
12/4/2012

The concept of divorce is so variable when it comes to individuals, statistics, and society. Many people hold strong opinions on the rights and wrongs of divorce, even those who have not personally experienced it themselves. In this paper, I will research the rise and the falling rates of divorce in the United States and how these rates and divorce itself impacts society, family, and the institution of marriage itself. To begin, divorce is not just a solitary action, there are different types of divorces, and different reasons behind them. The legal meaning of a divorce is the termination of ones marriage, this could be through two types of legal divorces. One type is what is called a “fault-based divorce”, where one of the spouses is responsible for the need of divorce due to things such as adultery, for example. The other type is called a “no-fault divorce”, where no one spouse is responsible, and this is commonly called “irreconcilable differences”. Other acts similar to a legal divorce are annulments and desertions. Annulments are primarily used to say the marriage never met the legal requirements of a marriage, think back to Henry VIII, trying to get his marriage annulled because it was never consummated, which back then could be a viable reason to end a marriage. Desertion is when one of the spouses just leaves. ( Strong, Devault, and Cohen 452 ) The rise of divorce began in the middle of the 1960's. In 1974, the termination of marriage by divorce rates were higher than the rates by death, one of the highest rates in American history. This spike in divorce rates did recede by the 1980's, however, divorce rates are still very high. In modern times, 35 percent to 45 percent of marriages have the likelihood of ending in divorce.( Strong, Devault, and Cohen 454) Now we have to wonder, how are these statistics measured? There are a few different factors,...
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