Written by Beverly Willett
In my view, obtaining a divorce today couldn’t get much easier. And that’s a great — and unnecessary sadness.
We all want to be happy. But our current me-centered approach to divorce isn’t working, and children bear the brunt. Every year one million children lose the protection that, experts agree, marriage affords. Evidence shows that children from broken homes are more likely to experience poverty, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol addiction, depression, reduced educational attainment, decreased longevity and suicidal thoughts. Children are even forced out of their homes every other weekend for our convenience. Consequently, they’ve become leery of marriage, too.
I support a plan that provides hope and an alternative to families contemplating divorce. Under the Parental Divorce Reduction Act, crafted by a team of bipartisan experts, and sponsored by the Coalition for Divorce Reform, parents with children who are still minors attend marriage education classes (separately or together), learn about the damaging consequences of divorce, and take an eight-month time-out to reflect on their life-altering decision (and hopefully pursue reconciliation) before they file for divorce. This approach, which targets low-conflict unions, will save marriages. It’s research-based. And the process excludes known impediments to spousal accord: lawyers and judges.
Please read more of this debate today in The New York Times by clicking here.