Divorce and Its Impact on the Family

Topics: Marriage, Divorce, Attachment theory Pages: 11 (3711 words) Published: May 3, 2010
A significant and often heated debate has been in progress for years regarding the effect of divorce on the family, and more specifically, on children of different ages. On the one side, there are writers, theorists and scholars who argue that divorce does not affect the children over the long term and on the other side are those who argue that divorce has a negative effect on the children for all their lives. It is indeed impossible to make a clear and definitive conclusion based on the research studies that have been conducted over the years. Each investigator argues strongly for their own conclusions, providing statistical evidence to support those conclusions.

Does divorce have a negative impact on children, regardless of age when the divorce occurs? Does divorce have more impact on specific age ranges of children? If divorce has a negative impact on children, then, how long does that impact last? Do adult children of divorced parents find it easier to blame all their failures and pitfalls on their parents' divorce instead of taking responsibility for their own actions through the years?

These are the only some of the questions that underlie the problem: What impact does divorce have on the children.
Very few definitions are needed regarding this investigation: •Children means the children of the parents who get divorced, regardless of age. Thus, "children" refers to adolescents as well as younger children. When a specific age range is meant, that will be clarified in the text. •Divorce means that the couple has gone through the legal process of divorce and are, thus, no longer legally married. •Absent father refers to those fathers who do not keep in contact with their children subsequent to a divorce. Also, the absent father does not contribute to the children's support. •Custodial parent refers to the parent who has legal primary custody of the children. First a brief overview of what marriage and divorce was throughout history, and what would happen to those children after the divorce was finalized Marriage and Divorce in History

The roots of marriage can be traced back to time of the Romans and Greeks. For the Greeks and Romans marriage wasn’t really something of a choice. It was more of a family obligation and a way to help the family gain higher status. “Marriage in Roman times was often not at all romantic. Rather, it was an agreement between families. Men would usually marry in their mid-twenties, while women married while they were still in their early teens. As they reached these ages, their parents would consult with friends to find suitable partners that could improve the family’s wealth or class.”(PBS) Women really didn’t have a choice in who they married, they were chosen by their fathers. And even for the men, love wasn’t taken into account because it was up to the parents who they married. The actual marriage in Roman times was very simple. The couple would just have to declare their desire to live with each other in front of both families.

Divorce in this time was just as easy as marriage. “Just as marriage was only a declaration of intent to live together, divorce was just a declaration of a couple’s intent not to live together. All that the law required was that they declare their wish to divorce before seven witnesses.” (PBS) Divorce was a very common thing for the Romans. The only condition was the woman would get her dowry back, and she would move back in with her father. If the wife was divorced because of adultery only half of her dowry was given back. The laws did not mention anything about husbands as they could not be divorced because of an adulterous they have committed. It is assumed that children were left with the father as men were the law in Roman times. Not much is known on what happened to the children after a divorce, whether they are allowed to see their mother or not, if the mothers were allowed to keep the children, or if the child’s best...
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