Why Divorce Should Not Be Legalized

By 12 december 2022 No Comments

3. If the criteria for granting a divorce are well thought out and strict, those who apply for divorce can be warned that they must have a really valid record to proceed with its filing. Could this be another compelling reason to legalize divorce? In the absence of a legal divorce, Filipino lawmakers fail to protect women and children who are victims of violence. Women make up 49.5% of the Filipino population, but their decisions are controlled by religiously influenced laws, ironically in an independent secular country. In a country without divorce, the majority of married women are reluctant to seek annulment because they are financially dependent on their husbands. It is too risky for women to divorce, especially if their children still need financial support from them. There are four main policy options related to the grounds for divorce: prohibition of divorce (which is currently not on the table in most countries), fault-only divorce, requirement of mutual consent, and allowing unilateral divorce. In any case, a married couple may need to meet other conditions before a divorce is granted, such as the requirement that the spouses separate for a certain period of time. Some countries allow couples to file for divorce for multiple reasons, so guilt, mutual consent, and unilateral divorces are possible in parallel, each with different requirements and costs. Figure 1 summarises the main reforms of the grounds for divorce in 18 European countries between 1950 and 2015. Four of these countries (Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland) legalised divorce in 1970 or later, while all 18 countries had introduced no-fault grounds on their part before 2000.

Only three allowed unilateral divorce without separation obligations until 2010 (Sweden, Finland and Spain), while others gradually reduced their separation requirements (Italy was the most recent in 2015) [1]. “The decision to divorce is an important decision that will impact all areas of your life for years to come,” says Rebecca Hendrix, marriage and family therapist. You should not take the decision lightly. That said, while some struggling marriages can be resolved through therapy, improved conflict resolution, better sexual relationships and the like, others are simply irredeemable, so divorce is the best option. “If a couple believes divorce is crucial for both people, there is certainly hope on the other side,” says Kim Hoertz, president and founder of The Graceful Exit. Many countries have passed laws in recent decades that facilitate divorce. Some countries have legalized divorce where it was previously prohibited, and many have relaxed the conditions for divorce, such as unilateral divorce (both spouses do not have to agree on divorce). Divorce laws may regulate the grounds for divorce, division of property, custody and child support, or alimony. Reforms can have a number of social impacts beyond increasing the divorce rate.

They can affect women`s labor supply, marriage and fertility rates, child protection, household savings, and even domestic violence and crime. Several previous policy attempts to legalize divorce, including the Divorce Act of 2019, remain unsuccessful due to strong traditional family norms in the Philippines. Those who oppose divorce see it as a threat to the sanctity of marriage, but the question remains: what is there to protect in an already broken relationship? In a predominantly Catholic country, the strong position of the Church may be the main reason why the Philippines, along with Vatican City, is one of the few sovereign states to prohibit divorce. While Vatican City has only 900 inhabitants, most people being members of the clergy, the Philippines is home to more than a hundred million people. The Philippines also recorded 431,972 marriages in 2019. When thinking about divorce law, it is natural to identify the impact on children`s well-being in the short and long term. The evidence shows that divorce liberalization does not have long-term positive effects on children, at least not on children already born at the time of the policy change. For example, a 2004 study found that children who grew up in U.S. states that allow unilateral divorce chose to marry and have children earlier, in addition to having fewer years of schooling and lower family income (than adults) than children who grew up in states where unilateral divorce was not allowed [10]. These findings have recently been challenged by new evidence showing that unilateral divorce reduces the likelihood of starting a family and has little impact on adult education.

Another study shows that children who were young when unilateral divorce became possible are more likely to commit violent crimes later in life, resulting in higher crime rates ten years after reforms in states that introduced unilateral divorce [11]. The study attributes this effect to an increase in poverty among divorced mothers affected by the reforms. Many countries have considered or implemented reforms to their divorce laws in recent years, with discussions covering some or all of the above. Some proposed reforms include a return to a “harder” divorce. So, should I get divorced or stay married? Here are some of the pros and cons of divorce that can help you decide whether to divorce or stay. Unilateral divorce laws allow one spouse to divorce without the consent of the other spouse. A final question, which has not yet been conclusively answered, is how facilitating divorce affects children born to couples who married after the introduction of unilateral divorce. If the quality of new marriages is higher, as recent research suggests, children from these unions may be able to perform better on average. The first question regarding the social impact of divorce law seems to be whether the recent liberalisation of the grounds for divorce has had an impact on divorce rates. In the 1960s and 1970s, divorce rates increased in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France (Figure 2). The trend reversed in the United States after 1980 and in the United Kingdom after 1995, while the increase continued in France, Germany and especially Italy until the mid-2000s.

The U.S. had the highest divorce rates of the six countries throughout the 1960-2019 period, rising from about two divorces per 1,000 people per year in 1960 to more than five in 1980 and then about three in 2017. Italy had the lowest divorce rate throughout the 1970-2019 period, with less than one divorce per 1,000 people until 2014, then rising to around 1.5. Similarly, Spain had slightly higher divorce rates than Italy, but after the 2005 reform, the level rose steadily to almost three divorces per 1,000 inhabitants per year. The France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom show similar levels and trends, with a divorce rate of about two per 1,000 people per year in the late 2010s. Domestic violence is a divorce professional who has no downside. Your safety and well-being should be a priority, and you are not safe in an abusive situation. Get out and get to safety. There is no better choice than divorce. If the law prescribes an equal division of marital property between the spouses, allowing unilateral divorce may lead to a reduction in the supply of female labour. Several recent studies take seriously the possibility that changes in divorce law may affect the behavior of married people, especially a woman`s employment decisions – and not just women divorcing. A study examines the impact of the legalisation of divorce in Ireland in 1996 on labour supply [3].

After the reform of the law, the overall rate of separations and divorces increased significantly, although separation rates among very religious (Catholic) couples remained extremely low. These couples were used as a control group, and married women in non-religious couples were used as a treatment group. After the legalization of divorce, women married in non-religious couples (for whom the risk of divorce increased) worked much more often than before the reform, while women in religious couples (less affected by the legalization of divorce) did not work more often than before. One possible explanation is that the increased likelihood of divorce increased the return on investment in work experience for married women when they expected a divorce to have negative economic consequences for them. Some studies have examined the effects of divorce law on other economic decisions in households headed by a married couple, such as wealth accumulation (savings). One study uses data from Ireland and finds that a “side effect” of legalizing divorce in 1996 was an increase in household savings among married couples (including those who did not divorce) [14]. A priori, an increased risk of divorce can encourage both more savings (in anticipation of higher future expenses) and less savings (to avoid having to share property in the event of separation). The results suggest that the mild effect dominates. A recent study also suggests that the introduction of unilateral divorce in US states has led to an increase in household savings [5]. The absence of legal divorce in the Philippines exacerbates class and gender inequalities. Under the current system, only the upper class can afford the legal means to inquire about the dissolution of unsuccessful marriages, let alone the length of the process required for legal separation.