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Divorce refers to the termination of a marital union and the subsequent cancellation of all the legal duties and responsibilities between married couples. Divorce is also referred to as dissolution of marriage, and it is different from annulment that renders marriages null and void. It is worth acknowledging that the law on divorce differs significantly across different countries and religions.
Most countries including the U.S. have put in place crucial legal mechanisms to handle divorce cases, and every party in the case access the required threshold of justice. Legal proceedings in divorce cases always entail matters related to alimony (spousal financial support), the support of children, distribution of property, and division of debts if any. Some of the most significant types of divorce include contested divorce, at-fault divorce, no-fault divorce, uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, and mediated divorce.
The court is always keen to take into consideration the behavior of both partners before coming up with a firm conclusion on the distribution of wealth and the custody of children between divorcing parties. In most instances, divorce is always caused by infidelity, domestic violence, drug abuse, and workaholism on the part of any partner to a marriage. The rate of divorce in the contemporary world is increasing at an alarming rate in the U.S. and other parts of the world, hence introducing a new trend to current marriages.
The effects of divorce are always severe on both partners and their children. The most significant effects of divorce include behavioral, academic, and psychological effects. Counseling for both children and divorced partners would play an instrumental role in their recovery process hence helping them cope with the situation.
Current essay explicates the types of divorce, the causes of divorce, and the effects of divorce on both partners and their children.
The law provides for the existence of different types of divorce. One of the most significant types of divorce is contested divorce. Contested divorce implies that one of the several issues is supposed to be heard by a judge at the trial level. According to Bonald and Davidson (1992), this form of divorce entails an expensive process, as parties are required to pay the lawyer for his/her time and preparation.
In a contested divorce, partners are not always able to agree on a particular issue that needs a judge’s intervention to reach an agreement. Some of the common issues of contention in this kind of divorce include division of marital assets and child custody. At-fault divorce is the second type of divorce. It is worth noting that fault-based divorces could also be contested. Cassidy (2013) opines that the analysis of offenses in this type of divorce may entail allegations of collusion between the parties and connivance by the other party. Comparative rectitude is the common doctrine utilized to determine, which spouse is more at fault in cases where both spouses are guilty of breaches. The third type of divorce is no-fault divorce.
The no-fault divorce system demands that there should be no proof or allegation of fault of either party in the case. This means that a judicial officer would be satisfied with a mere assertion that a marriage has broken down. Stanich (2013) reiterates that applications for no-fault divorces could be filed jointly by either both parties or one party to a marriage. In the course of adopting the no-fault principle, courts take into consideration the behavior of parties relating to the division of property, evaluation of the custody of children, and support for the divorced party.
Uncontested divorce is another vital type of divorce. Most divorces are always uncontested divorces, because of the ease with which both parties come to an agreement concerning the division of property, support issues, and the custody of children. Uncontested divorces are simplified by the agreement between the parties on the vital matters of the divorce. Gadoua (2008) affirms that collaborative divorce is also a key type of divorce common in the U.S. and other countries around the globe.
Notably, collaborative divorce entails parties coming into agreement on issues relating to divorce. It involves parties to the divorce negotiating an agreed resolution with the support of attorneys with skills in collaborative divorces. In collaborative divorces, parties are always empowered to make their own decisions, but may also be allowed to consult professionals for better decisions.
In line with the personal interview I had with Mr. Davids, marriage consultant, I noticed that divorce is caused by diverse factors within the society. Prior (2010) is of the view that infidelity in marriage is one of the key causes of divorce. This implies that divorce may be easily caused by one partner having extra-marital affairs. This also emanates from the lack of trust between the couple, and one would file a divorce in cases where he/she feels is being cheated on. Infidelity leads to divorce as the aggrieved party aims at averting further heartbreaks in a marriage.
Therefore, continuous levels of mistrust in marriage catalyze divorces, and the subsequent sharing of all rights entitled to each party according to the provisions of the law. Clarke-Stewart and Brentano (2007) assert that divorce is also caused by domestic violence in most homes. Domestic violence has been increasing at an alarming rate in the society, and has played a central role in leading to divorce in the society. Domestic violence is a situation where one party in a marriage faces physical abuse, and it presents the stepping-stone for most divorces in the society.
The divorce may be filed by the aggrieved with the assistance of an attorney with skills in matters of relationship. The court will always be in charge of ensuring that wealth is distributed properly and the custody of children taken into consideration. According to Davids (2013), the third cause of divorce is drug abuse and alcoholism on the part of one partner in a marriage. Drug abuse and alcoholism are always uncomfortable for partners in a marriage, especially in cases where there is no provision of the necessary needs and support for children in a marriage.
In most marriages, instances of drug abuse tend to retard the overall development and provision of the required needs for the family. The affected party is always free to file a divorce application and demand alimony according to the provision of the law. Evans (2012) agrees that divorce may be caused by workaholism. This refers to excessive working schedules that do not take time for family into consideration. Some people tend to work for longer hours without dedicating sufficient time for their families. Divorces, in this regard, are always filed on grounds of the lack of care for the family, which leads to agony and a feeling of abandonment. It is crucial to prove this in the court and ensure that effective address is given to the overall matter.
The effects of divorce are enormous and may be unbearable for both parties and children. However, divorce may have positive effects on families as it alleviates the level of conflicts between parents. Meyer (2011) holds the view that the most significant effect to partners is that they may lose the love of their children. A partner pushing for divorce may find less favor from children, because of the feeling of betrayal. This means that partners should try to seek alternative means of resolving their conflicts before filing any form of divorce.
This would help in the reservation of the love of the children. According to Harvey and Fine (2010), children suffer psychological effects, because of divorce. Psychological effects emanate from unhappiness, little satisfaction with life, anxiety, depression, and the feeling of insecurity in life. The psychological effects are grave to the extent that they may affect these children to their adult life where they may also indulge in conflicts while in their marriages.
Divorces are always detrimental to the mental status of children hence making it difficult for them to cope with life in their new status as children with divorced parents. It is worth noting that divorce affects children in their academic performance and ambition. Patterson (2013) emphasizes that children with divorced parents tend to drop academically due to the loss of morale on their part. They are affected academically, and some of them fail to catch up with the rest of students living normal life in a united family.
Academic performance is affected by the lack of ambition and confidence on the part of these children. Lastly, children may suffer in terms of their behavior. Divorce affects the behavior of children, as some of them become anti-social and unfriendly to others in the society. Wagner (2009) agrees that this is brought about by the high level of insecurity that such children face in their lives after the divorce of their parents.
It is crucial for teachers and other professionals to intervene and help children with divorced children to grow up in the normal manner. Counseling would be a significant intervention strategy to help children overcome the challenges of divorce hence ensuring they perform superbly in their academic matters and social matters. This will help them grow into responsible individuals focused on achieving their goals in the best manner possible.
In conclusion, divorce is the termination of a marriage in line with the required legal provisions or customary provisions in the society. In most instances, divorce is motivated by infidelity on the part of one partner hence making a marriage unbearable on the other partner. Drug and alcohol abuse contribute to most divorces in all countries around the globe including the U.S.; partners involved in such habits fail to provide for their families to the required level of satisfaction.
Other notable causes of divorce include excessive commitments that do not allocate time for family. This leads to the feeling of the lack of care from the partner hence the need for divorce. Domestic violence is also a large cause of divorce in the U.S. and other countries around the globe. Separation is always perceived as the best way to stop such violence among families. It is also crucial to understand that there are many significant types of divorces including contested divorce, uncontested divorce, at-fault divorce, no-fault divorce, and collaborative divorce.
The law has different jurisdictions on these forms of divorce within the society. Children are the most affected individuals in cases of divorce since they tend to drop in their academics, lose the morale for social relationships, and suffer psychological problems. The absence of effective mechanisms makes it difficult for such children to live properly and achieve their goals. Interventions such as counseling should be embraced to help children with divorced children achieve their goals appropriately. However, most professionals recommend that divorce should not be taken as the first alternative in cases of conflicts in marriage. It should come as the last resolution.
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