Law Man
The Effects Of Marriage And Divorce
By Peter Schuman
Mar 1, 2002 - 11:40:00 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Getting a divorce or being involved in a family law matter is one of the most excruciating events of your life. As a family law attorney, I see and hear about the unfortunate events and effects of divorce, child custody, or child support matters. I have taken excerpts from an article/study performed by leading family scholars. I believe that marriage is an important part of a man and women's well-being and the well being of the children of a marriage.
photo by Jeannika Xiong

In Colorado, William Schulice introduced a bill that requires divorcing spouses to have six hours of counseling about the impact of divorce on children. This counseling would be required for the spouses to get a final divorce decree when there are minor children of the marriage. The statistics that follow will show why this bill is necessary to help facilitate a smoother transition into post-divorce life for any children of the marriage and the divorcing spouses. Further, The Colorado bill would provide divorcing spouses another opportunity to see if there are options other than divorce.

"Since 1960, the proportion of children who do not live with their own two parents has risen sharply from 19.4 percent to 42.3 percent in the 1990's. This change is caused by an increase in divorce and co-habitating couples who have children but don't marry." The statistics with regards to children of married couples versus unmarried or non-cohabitating couples is definitive and without debate.

"Parental divorce reduces the likelihood that children will graduate from college and achieve high-status jobs. Children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health, on average, than children in other family forms . . . [and] the health advantages of married homes remain even after taking into account socioeconomic status." Children of divorced marriages are twice as likely to have their adult relationship/marriage end in divorce.


Married men earn up to 40 percent more than single men with similar qualifications. Married men and women have longer life expectancies than single men and women. "Marriage increases the likelihood fathers will have good relationships with children (a 65 percent to 29 percent ratio when comparing married and unmarried fathers and the relationship with their children). Divorced and unmarried childbearing women significantly increases poverty rates of both mothers and children."

There are other negative statistics about divorce and positive statistics of marriage, but I have provided some of the more important statistics and excerpts. Any family law attorney has a duty to vigorously represent clients in a family law matter and has the responsibility to resolve the client's matter in the best possible manner. One potential resolution is reconciliation after separation or after contemplating divorce because the lives of the children of the marriage and the divorcing spouses change dramatically, as evidenced by the above statistics.

Divorce is an option when the marital relationship has deteriorated, but it should be the last option. Please keep the above statistics in mind the next time you or someone you know is considering divorce of a spouse as their first option, particularly when children are involved.

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