Divorce Ethics

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Divorce Ethics

In modern days divorce is a common occurance. Over the last twenty years people are getting married and divorced quickly. There are a plethora of reasons for getting divorced today including: abuse, money problems, addictions, young marriage, illegal immigrants marrying for citizenship, and so on. Divorce is also more accessible and easier to obtain than it was years ago. All one has to do is go to a lawyer and a divorce can be granted in some states without any questions. People go into marriages these days knowing that there is a possibility that they’re marriage might end in divorce. The availability of prenuptial agreements has made it possible for people to go into marriages with backup plans.

I do not think that it is moral to go into a marriage with the slightest acknowlegement that the marriage might end in a divorce. Signing a prenuptial agreement is like getting married but saying, “Well just in case this whole thing doesn’t work out…”. I do believe that there are some exceptions when it comes to abuse. However, I think that too many people give up on their marriage without going through all of the avenues to help their marriage. Signing a prenuptial agreement makes it even easier to give up on a marriage. Things get exponentially more complicated when children are involved. It poses the question: should parents stay together for the sake of their children. As a child who comes from a family of abuse, I do not think that they should. However, my argument is that divorce should not be acceptable unless there is physical or psychological abuse. On top of all of this, remarriage adds another layer of complexity.

Remarriage represents another dramatic change in the divorced family’s structure, and children respond to this change in different ways. In an article, Family Ties After Divorce: Long-Term Implications for Children by Dr. Ahrons children of divorced parents were asked, “whether the divorce or a parent’s remarriage was more difficult to cope with, more than half of the adult children reported that the divorce was most difficult, and approximately one third remembered the remarriage of one or more parents as creating more distress than the divorce” (Ahron, 2007). For reasons unexplained, these children also stated that the father’s remarriage was more stressful than the mother’s.

Like Ahron’s article, William Walsh’s article Twenty Major Issues in Remarriage Families discusses the many difficult issues that come with divorce and remarriage. Walsh states that, “the loss of a significant person usually triggers a grief reaction” (Walsh, 1992). This is especially true for children who do not understand the concept of divorce. They live in a fantasy that their parents will eventually reconcile. Because of the grief that children of divorce carry with them, they cannot develop a healthy relationship with a new step parent without first dealing with the grief. Stepfamily members must mourn the loss of the primary family (Walsh, 1992). The security that a child feels within the family structure is completely destroyed when divorce happens. This is another reason why getting a divorce is immoral. Divorces ruins not only the relationship between the couple, but also with the children. Divorces leave children wondering what family means, questioning their role in the family structure, and it leaves them feeling inadequate because unable to hold the family together.

Children are not the only reason why divorce is immoral. Religion plays a tremendous role in marriages because it provides guidelines on how we should behave and act in marriage. For example, Christians learn that it is a sin to commit adultery in a marriage. The Catholic Church used to excommunicate members who got divorced. When a Christian couple chooses to marry, there is an understanding that union is based on more than just physical attraction or compatibility. In this society, there...
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