Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union, cancelling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties (unlike annulment, which declares the marriage null and void). Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries it requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. The legal process of divorce may also involve issues of alimony (spousal support), child custody, child support, distribution of property, and division of debt. In most countries monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another; where polygyny is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry a new husband. Divorce is the legal breakup of a marriage. Like every major life change, divorce can be a stressful experience. It affects finances, living arrangements, household jobs, schedules and more. If the family includes children, they may be deeply affected. Sociologists know little about the effects on children younger than two or three years of age. Children from age range from 3–5 years old may often mistake the divorce of their parents as their own fault. Older children experience feelings of anger, grief, and embarrassment. effects
"People think that post-separation parenting is easy - in fact, it is exceedingly difficult, and as a rule of thumb my experience is that the more intelligent the parent, the more intractable the dispute There is nothing worse, for most children, than for their parents to denigrate each other” Parents simply do not realize the damage they do to their children by the battles they wage over them. Separating parents rarely behave reasonably, although they always believe that they are doing so, and that the other party is behaving unreasonably." - Sir Nicholas Scott(President of the family division of the High Court) Although not the intention of most parents, putting children in the middle of conflict is particularly detrimental. Examples of this are: asking children to carry messages between parents, grilling children about the other parent’s activities, telling children the other parent does not love them, and putting the other parent down in front of the children. Poorly managed conflict between parents increases children’s risk of behavior problems, depression, substance abuse and dependence, poor social skills, and poor academic performance. Fortunately, there are approaches by which divorce professionals can help parents reduce conflict. Options include mediation, collaborative divorce, coparent counseling, and parenting coordination. Social scientists study the causes of divorce in terms of underlying factors that may possibly motivate divorce. One of these factors is the age at which a person gets married; delaying marriage may provide more opportunity or experience in choosing a compatible partner. Wage, income, and sex ratios are other such underlying factors that have been included in analyses by sociologists and economists.