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- Separation & Divorce
The Changing Status of Divorce
What Went Wrong?
In our country, so many people are getting separated and divorced, with a child or children involved, that it's becoming an epidemic, like a psychological disease infecting and spreading through society, to the detriment of all concerned, but most importantly the child.
Children are growing up in hostile environments in which they see hatred between their mothers and fathers. Many times, the children do not see one parent at all, or have very limited contact, due to the size of our country, and the freedom people have to move to the other side of the country to obtain a good job, take their child with them, and try to cut the other parent out of the child's life.
Family law courts tend to favor custody primarily with the mother, except for dire circumstances such as insanity or drug addiction. In some cases, a mother will move away with her child, and the father will lose touch. But the usual scenario is more disgraceful, in that the father will run away from responsibility and hide to avoid paying child support.
The family law courts do their best to work out a peaceful agreement between the parents whereby they both share in making decisions that affect the child's schooling and upbringing, and they can cooperate in a reasonable plan for shared custody and visitation. The aim always will be to have an agreement that's in the child's best interests.
Fighting between parents often takes place when one parent acquires a new partner or a new spouse. Sometimes the fighting takes the form of increased demands for money, and other times it becomes more serious and entails prohibiting visitation or custody rights.
Parents have disappeared with their children for years, in retaliation against the other parent.
These examples are the ones that involve sane, normal working people. However, the examples involving parents on drugs, in and out of prisons, committing violence upon the other parent, neglecting or abusing the child, or abandoning the child and voluntarily terminating their parental rights, are cases that are filling the courts now, but not discussed openly by most people in America, except for those who work especially in drug rehab clinics or other areas such as family law or child protective agencies.
In all this bad news, there's some ray of hope, however. The family law courts are working wonders in many cases, with progressive cities having counselors attached to their local courts. Child protective agencies across the country are a wonderful refuge for help. Attorneys are being assigned for people who can't afford them. Congress is passing laws to help enforce justice and protect the innocent.
The one ingredient that seems to work well is putting aside hatred and anger for the sake of the child. Hopefully, this will save the day in the final analysis.
There has been a rapid change in the attitudes and instances of divorce over the last forty years as compared to the previous hundreds of years of history. It seems that wars have a lot to do with divorce rates because they rise after the war is finished. This was true even of the American Civil War of the Nineteenth Century.
But once there is a period of relative calm between major wars, divorce rates tend to level off and stop increasing.
There is a big difference between younger couples and older ones. The older the couple, the less the chance of divorce. But modern divorce rates do not seem to change within other classifications such as race and wealth.
In the last ten years, fewer people on average chose to marry than before.