It is no surprise that the divorce rate in America has risen to fifty percent in recent years. Couples living in modern society are faced with new and daunting challenges their parents didn’t have to consider. Impending wars in foreign countries, the importance of finding a full-time career and producing stable children in a very unstable world are some of the pressures most often leading to divorce.
Although the divorce rate varies throughout the country, the number of divorces is still staggering. To help alleviate the rise in divorce settlements among adults, several efforts have created some very positive results.
To get a grip on the rise in America’s divorce rate, religious denominations are taking a stand by providing assistance to engaged couples. Although the Roman Catholic Church has always touted counseling courses before a wedding, other religions are starting to take heed as well. Today, young couples are interested in finding ways to prevent a divorce settlement by learning all they can about marriage before saying their vows.
“Premarital education,” which is a group session of engaged or seriously involved couples, offers an curriculum that helps explain relationships and offers advice on how to deal with some of the more daunting challenges faced in modern marriages. The efforts made by couples who engaged in premarital education have paid off because their chances of a divorce were lowered by thirty percent. Couples can find access to these programs simply by talking with their religious advisors or asking for advice from a professional counselor.
In 2004, a study was published by the National Press Club to show how to help lower America’s divorce rate. What the study reported was yet another successful example of people taking the initiative to help save the sanctity of marriage. Called, a “Community Marriage Policy,” this study required clergy members of various religious sectors in over 100 counties to cooperate in their efforts to help couples prevent divorce.
The policy encouraged the clergy to come together and train mentor couples from any religious sector so they could offer marriage preparation courses, advice on how to enrich and enhance one’s marriage, and offer counseling for crisis situations. This grassroots effort proved that, through help from these mentoring counselors, couples could find support and make their way through some of the challenges they face in their own marriage. The results of the study showed a drop in the divorce rate of over seventeen percent for the counties involved.
Although there are ways to help decrease America’s divorce rate, the fact still remains that rates are higher than they have been in the past. Many of the increases occur regionally, showing that some of the higher divorce rates occur in the South. Northeastern states have lower divorce rates, with Massachusetts being the lowest in the nation with only a two percent rate in 2004.
Reasons for the difference in divorce settlements comes from the knowledge that couples marry at an earlier age in the South, while Northeastern couples usually finish higher education before getting married. This puts them at an older age with more financial stability than there Southern counterparts. Since religion tends to play a role in marriages, divorces are less likely among the North’s Roman Catholic population.
The divorce rate in American may be on the rise, but there are visible efforts to help eliminate this problem. With the rise in premarital education and counseling courses, couples across the country will have greater access to the proper preparation for handling modern society’s numerous challenges.
Although regional differences play a role in how many divorce settlements occur each year, perhaps more and more opportunities to educate engaged couples on how to develop a healthy marriage will become available across the country.