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Causes and Effects of Divorce

By bushi Jul 04, 2006 816 Words

The purpose of this paper is to view the causes and effects of the divorce. The bibliography page appends 7 sources in APA format.


Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage. A divorce is generally accomplished through a court of law, as a legal action is needed to dissolve the prior legal act of marriage. The court also determines the terms of the divorce, though they may take into account prenuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses have agreed on privately. In many developed countries, divorce rates have increased markedly during the twentieth century. In U.S, Canada, the United Kingdom and other some other developed Commonwealth countries, this boom in divorce developed in the last half of the twentieth century. Japan retains a markedly lower divorce rate, though it has increased in recent years. In addition, acceptance of the single-parent family has resulted in many women deciding to have children outside marriage as there is little remaining social stigma attached to unwed mothers. The subject of divorce as a social phenomenon is an important research topic in sociology. (Gallagher, 2002)

Causes of divorce

According to a survey conducted amongst UK matrimonial lawyers by Grant Thornton's Forensic practice that extra-marital affairs are the main causes of the divorce in nearly 27% of the divorce cases in U.K and not only this but the survey also identified that family strains almost 18% and emotional/physical abuse nearly 17% are also among the leading causes. Mid-life crisis (13%) work-holism (6%) and addictions such as alcoholism and gambling (6%) also featured strongly. The survey also highlighted that divorces as a result of family strains tend to involve the families of women (78% of cases) rather than men's (22%), whilst emotional/physical abuse, and likewise addictions, tend to be more evenly split with women suffering it 60% of time and men in 40% of cases. Of the 6% of divorces ending as a result of work-holism, men accounted for 70% of cases and women for 30%. (20 September 2004)

Another leading cause of divorce is money as fifty-seven percent of divorced couples in the United States cited financial problems as the primary reason for the demise of their marriage. according to a survey conducted by Citibank. Financial incompatibility is one way of explaining the reason money is the primary cause of divorce. (Broussard, 1996)

Effects of divorce

Parental divorce can have lasting negative consequences for adult offspring. (Hetherington, 1981; Richards & Dyson, 1982; Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 1989). According to Wallerstein and Blakeslee (1989) sadness and depression were common symptoms in young adults who experienced parental divorce in latency. They found that girls who had experienced parental divorce at the age of 6 to 13 years were less well adapted than the younger or older group. Depression was common among those who were doing poorly, both at the 5- and 10-year follow-up. Suicide attempts during adolescence were common in this age group.

Another effect of divorce on both partners is that divorce leads to the creation of two households rather than one, with consequent increased costs. All parties suffer these effects. Women often financially suffer as a result of divorce due to lower earning potential in many countries, and to their greater historical role in rearing children (these causes are not unrelated). Men are also often victims of divorce, both financially and in other ways. Court-ordered alimony and child support can be beggaring, often pegged to large percentages of the higher-earning spouse's income. (Mc Lanahan, 1985)


The above study shows it clearly the major causes of divorce and how it can clearly have a negative effect on not only the children of divorcing partners but also on the partners themselves giving a strong financial and mental stress .

Cheryl D. Broussard (February 1, 1996) "The Black Woman's Guide to Financial Independence : Smart Ways Take Charge your Money bld Wealth Achieve Financial Security" Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics), p. 85

Hetherington, E. M. (1981) "Children and divorce. In R. W. Henderson (Ed.), Parent-child interaction: Theory, research, and prospects," New York: Academic Press. pp. 33-57

Maggie Gallagher (March 25, 2002) "Third Thoughts on Divorce. - 'For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered" National Review.

Mc Lanahan (1985) "Family structure and the reproduction of poverty" American Journal of Sociology 90, pp. 873-901.

Richards, M. P. M., & Dyson, M. (1982) "Separation, divorce and the development of children: A review" London: Department of Health and Social Security.

September 20, 2004 "Sex, power, love and the adulterous wife" Divorce-Online Ltd§ion=all&keyword=

Wallerstein, J. S. & Blakeslee, S. (1989) "Second chances: Men, women & children a decade after divorce, who wins, who loses--and why" New York: Ticnor & Fields

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