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Comments about ‘My view: Reforming divorce law will benefit marriage’

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Published: Wednesday, May 7 2014 2:16 p.m. MDT

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Bifftacular
Spanish Fork, Ut

I was divorced 13 years ago. When people would ask me what the reasons were for the divorce, my answer was because my wife wanted to... and it was as simple as that. No other reason was needed by the court nor did they care. I agree completely with the author of this article. No fault divorce has been disastrous on the family. Too many people are divorcing these days because they want to - taking no or little concern for how that will affect their children. When the marriage gets rocky, (and what marriage doesn't at one point or another?) or things aren't panning out quite like they were envisioned, people are bailing - looking for greener pastures that rarely present themselves. And the children suffer - big time. It is harder these days to get out of your cell phone contract than your marriage and that is fundamentally wrong.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

A good article with some valid observations. The decline in marriage is due to long-term changes in many parts of society.

More counseling before marriage would help.

Understanding that gender roles are an artificial construct. Trying to keep family roles in the 50s while society is more egalitarian is a major problem - in other words, men can cook and clean and care for children as well as women, so be equal.

This argument also supports the need for SSM, to add stability to families headed by gays and lesbians. Same-Sex Marriage would benefit marriage and society as a whole.

Ranch
Here, UT

"Happy, healthy marriages and families should be on everyone's agenda, ..."

When you make it impossible for some people to marry when these people would love to marry, you are telling other people that you want to marry that marriage isn't really all that necessary. That they should just 'live together' and be happy with what they have.

People are far more likely to listen to what YOU DO, than what you say.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Government should get out of divorce. If two persons want to marry they should enter a private contract with church or organization. Then that church or organization will be responsible for the Divorce. In Utah get married by the Bishop and he is in charge of divorce. The County doesn't need the small fee and have to pay for divorce judges.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

@Ranch - you make a great point. The right really is driving the idea that marriage doesn't really matter.

@one vote.

The state is involved in marriage because of the myriad laws and protections and benefits conferred by marriage. Remove the "civil" aspect of marriage and all that goes away, from a free name change at the start to inheritance benefits at death and over 1,000 benefits in between.

People pontificate about the religious fluff of the ceremony, but most will form a lynch mob if you try to remove the civil protections.

Ranch
Here, UT

@one vote;

So, you'd be switching the "small fee" over to the church? Way to make the churches even richer - you KNOW they'd charge a fee for the service.

Get churches out of the marriage business; they have no business telling you that you may/may not marry or you may/may not divorce.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

What stuns me about this argument is the complete lack of concern for the act of entering into a marriage. It's just assumed two people "fell in love" got married and now we should save this agreement.

You're not mature enough in this state to drink until you're 21 but in our infinite wisdom we're sure that you are emotionally mature enough for marriage at 18. In most areas you can enter into the contract of marriage before you can buy a car on your own.

Maybe rather than trying to patch together dysfunctional relationships that the author says will have all kinds of harmful consequences if allowed to split, we ought to spend time figuring out what mistakes were made in the first place in forming the relationship.

Dread Pirate Roberts
Cleveland , OH

I have been divorced 4 times now.

I thought I was marrying pscho-crazy-women.

Turns out I'm actually a jerk to live with.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Everyone wants to improve conditions for children, and there are certainly divorces that occur on flimsy grounds. Making it tougher to get divorced would certainly buttress marriages that already exist, and perhaps prevent some future divorces, but also prevent some future marriages.

Employment uncertainty is the biggest underlying problem with marriage. This is the elephant in the room. We're moving to a shorter term "jobs" reality and much less a "career" reality, as economic change picks up speed.

As the economy moves toward accelerated upheaval in employment, young people concluding that getting married and having kids is a much bigger economic risk than their parents faced. Some younger women will decide to have children on their own, as their biological clocks tick away, but economic anxiety will continue to dampen the overall marriage rate and the birth rate.

Not rocket science, folks.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

I don't know what to think about this. On one side I see the need for people to be able to obtain a divorce easily and on the other I understand that we should work to lower divorce rates. I guess I'm just not sure how much changes in divorce law would help but I readily admit that I don't know.

I do know that our society has a real need to change how people get married. I know that growing up in this culture I believed in the fairy tale of marriage. Nothing I had learned growing up from my parents, or church, or anything else prepared me for what marriage really was. I think we need to work on preparing people for the realities of marriage in addition to divorce reform. People are getting married expecting a certain type of life and have no idea what the reality will be like.

KJB1
Eugene, OR

I've been divorced and trust me, it was a sad and exhausting experience. Trying to justify it to the government wouldn't have made it any easier and it wouldn't have saved my marriage. It never fails to amuse how many who rant about getting the government out of people's lives have no problem with striking down no-fault divorce. The reasons a couple decides to split is nobody's else business but theirs.

And pragmatistferlife has an excellent point: maybe Mormon culture needs to slightly less gung-ho about two kids getting married as soon as they can if they're really serious about battling divorce. I went to BYU-Idaho (Ricks back then) and the meet-in-September-married-by-Christmas thing was very common...

Ranch
Here, UT

Making divorce more difficult could also have an adverse effect on women in abusive relationships.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

I'll support making divorce more difficult to obtain only _after_ laws are enacted to make it a lot harder to get a marriage license.

Starry-eyed twenty year-olds, emotionally immature and generally clueless about the realities of work, money, religion, child-rearing, sex, etc.... it is in fact amazing that half of their marriages survive more than ten years.

My hat's off to those couples who marry when they're barely out of adolescence who stay happy and together for the rest of their lives. It's wonderful, but we should acknowledge that it is rare and no more "normal" than a teenager's face without acne.

The time for mandatory counseling is before marriage, not after.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Numerous studies indicate that having children out of wedlock, or trying to raise a family of children on your own (after divorce)... is the biggest factor in determining if your children will be raised in poverty.

It's worth trying to avoid it.

The best way to avoid it is to make sure you pick a spouse you can live with (not just temporarily). And a spouse that is committed to pulling together, working together, giving up what they want, and doing WHATEVER it takes to keep the family together... no matter what comes up in life.

It also helps to find a mate who has the skills and interests needed to support the family. And one who can delay their own gratification and focus on the needs of the family as a whole.

Divorce doesn't make life "easier" (ask anybody). And starting a family as a single-parent is not optimal.

To give yourself (and your children) the best chance at happiness... put serious consideration into picking your mate, and marrying them, with the intent of staying together.

Our culture today teaches children that divorce is almost inevitable, so plan on it... that's sad...

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Why plan for divorce? Why have a "parachute" ready, "just in case"? Mature people can learn to work things out. They can learn that everything does not revolve around them. They can "get over it", whatever that "it" happens to be. They can learn to care more about their children and their spouse than they care about themselves. But self-centered people will fight instead of learning to work together. They will demand that the world itself change to meet their expectations.

After having been married for more than forty years, my wife and I have learned from each other. We've learned how to respect each other. We've learned how to trust each other. We've learned how to care for each other. We've have many opportunities to give up on each other, but we knew that failure is not an option.

I'm not saying that divorce is never warranted, but too many people abandon ship at even the hint of a squall. The squalls teach us to be sailors. Rough times in marriage teach us to trust, to love, to understand. Give marriage a chance.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . economic anxiety will continue to dampen the overall marriage rate and the birth rate."

Actually, your cause/effect arrow is pointed the wrong way.

It's actually lack of marriage that causes the economic anxiety.

Bifftacular
Spanish Fork, Ut

Ranch: women or men in truly abusive relationships won't have any problem getting a divorce under stricter divorce laws. That argument is a complete misnomer and a scare tactic of those that want to bail whenever they want and for any reason. For heaven's sake, when children are involved, let's at least make the marriage contract harder to break than our cable or phone contract.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Maybe instead of paying a small fee to the Government... they should have to pay a HUGE fee to the Government. Because dissolving the marriage more than doubles the chances that the children in this family are going to end up on at least some type of public assistance (from their church or from the government).

The Government has a financial interest in the divorce not happening.

The decision to divorce is most likely going to cost the government (meaning the tax payers) thousands and thousands of dollars in assistance given over the years the children struggle to adulthood in a single parent family.

It's super hard for one parent to work enough to support the children, AND be there enough to be both the parents. It's just more than one person can do.

It would be interesting to know how much each divorce costs the Government....

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

I know many couples co-habitating for 30+ years.
To be honest, they are happier than most married people.

Why?
A friend told me it's more the way things USED to be.

100 years ago - the man pretty much walked away with everything he'd earned.

That wasn't fair - so they changed the laws.

In the years since - the Pedulum has swung too far the oppostie way,
It has slowly gone from a 50/50 split,
to now -- when the woman gets to keep the house, the cars, 50% of his retirement, the children,
AND he still gets stuck with her Alimony and Childsupport!

Today - a man is doomed if he gets divorced,
and the woman has everything to gain TO get divorced!

Our Stake President is live'd right now,
Sisters are looking for a divorce for the Stupidest of reasons,
and as a lawyer by Profession -- he blames much of it with today's tipped scale.

Being unmarried balances everything back to that 50/50 split.

So, looking at it strictly from a financial/business/capitalistic stand point and not a religous "sin" POV --

Why get married?

It's a loosing investment.
A for-sure lost bet.

BTW -- His view, not mine...

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Mike,

Would you stay married if you found out your wife voted for Obama?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Hey, its a joke...

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