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Divorce can save people from a bad marriage, but research has shown that it can also debilitate a

society. Divorced adults are more likely to become impoverished while their children experience
psychological and economic stress hindering their social development. According to the National
Marriage Project, between 1960 and 2009, the divorce rate in the United States doubled; between 40
and 50 percent of newly married couples will either separate or divorce. With high divorce rates
threatening social stability, the United Nations urges governments everywhere to adopt policies to
reverse this trend.

The Familiy as Society's Nucleus

Divorce hinders society by dissolving families and weakening belief in the family as an essential social
unit. To sociologists, the family does more than unite people by marriage and blood or adoption; it
provides the educational, financial and emotional support its members need to thrive socially. Without
this support, divorced adults and their children are mentally and physically weakened, becoming less
productive social participants. More broadly, divorce leads people to question whether having a family
is worthwhile. The Heritage Foundation reports that children of divorced households tend to enter highrisk marriages. Even worse, says researcher Patrick Fagan, is that these children often do not marry
and start families of their own, a phenomenon that can disturb social harmony.

Surging Poverty Levels

Divorce breeds poverty, particularly for women and children. In the first 18 months following divorce,
between 77 and 83 percent of mothers and their children live in poverty. With fewer economic
resources, most children of divorce experience disruptions changes in child care, living arrangements
and schools that create turmoil in their lives. Long-term effects of poverty from divorce are most
obvious in girls. According to sociologist Molly Martin, girls raised by a divorced parent tend to live on
welfare and require public housing as adults. Public dependency continues for their children who, as
mothers, are three times more likely to go on welfare.

Children as Victims
Many sociologists believe that societies hoping to flourish and perpetuate must rear children
responsibly. In most functioning societies, an intact family helps children develop strong moral
character. Lacking such guidance, children of divorce are more likely to behave as social deviants.
Specific findings reported by The Heritage Foundation are that these children are more likely to commit
minor and serious crimes, run away from home, be suspended from school, smoke cigarettes, abuse
alcohol, carry weapons, engage in physical fighting, and use marijuana and cocaine. And both male
and female adolescents living in single-parent households have experimented with sex by age 11.

Lagging Academic Achievement

Divorce menaces society by disrupting childrens lives, which makes it harder for them to perform well
in school and pursue higher education. Divorced parents who remain single have less time to supervise
their childs schoolwork or become involved in school activities. As a result, their children score lower
on tests of cognitive development, verbal reasoning and math and science aptitude. Also, 58 percent
of these children are classified as special needs as opposed to 31 percent of children in intact families.
As for educational attainment, children of divorce are more likely to drop out of high school or not
attend college.


The negative and positive impact of divorce in the society.

Divorce seems to be more socially acceptable nowadays and is also the most common issue in

the modern world. With the increase rate of divorce, the pace of emotional instability and crime
rate is also quickening. Its effect on the family life, interference in the development of the
children an crime is obvious.
It is divorce that has an impact on not only their families but also their own children. And children
are likely to be the most painful victims in this battle. It effects on both their feelings and minds.
Some kids tend to stay away from any kind of social interaction and soon become immersed in
their sadness. This makes them very fearful and worried by nature.
Moreover, there are times when children feel so much anger because of divorce that they resort
to committing crimes and taking drugs to overcome this anger. Hence, such children have
higher chances of becoming delinquents. Many children are not able to concentrate on their
studies during the time of divorce. The circumstances surrounding divorce may make it hard for
the child to focus on academic goals. Children are bound to lose their self-confidence in such
cases and may not want to study at all.
Most peple think that there is nothing positive about divorce as the negative effects are more
obvious and talked about. Divorce can be a positive thing when the marriage is in high conflict
and the children are exposed to be in an environment where they see a lack of respect and
trust. Often when the child has been a victim of domestic violence then that child will grow up
disliking societies' vices. That is surely a positive side.
In conclusion, it is high time now that the society must do something to preserve the sanctity of
marriage. For of the pace divorce continues to increase at such an alarming rate, then the
society itself would be adulterated. And people would lose faith in the stability of love, marriage
and long lasting relaionships. And life would be far more stressful than it is now.

Divorce, Family and Society

Marriage in the United States is no longer the lasting institution it once was. Every year over a million
American families will experience a divorce and over half of the kids born this year will witness their
parents divorce before they reach the age of eighteen. Although there may be some benefit for children
stuck in abusive family situations, the effects of a divorce are usually physically, emotionally and
financially negative for everyone involved. The experience of divorce, even a mutually agreed,
uncontested divorce, ultimately wears down that basic building block of American society, the family.
More than just affecting the immediate family, divorce can have a profoundly negative effect on society as
a whole. Statistics show that children who have gone through a parents divorce are more likely to
become victims of abuse later in life. The numbers also show that children of divorced single parents
have more health problems, behavioral issues, and emotional problems during their lifetimes. The

children of divorce are also more likely to get involved in crime and drug abuse, and have a much greater
risk of committing suicide than children raised in two-parent homes.
The wide range of negative effects is a drain on our society as a whole and the costs attached to them go
far beyond just financial expenditure. The effects of a divorce can be a drag on both education and
finances, as children from divorced parents have been shown to get lower grades, are more likely to fail a
grade, drop-out more often and are far less likely to attend a college or university than children coming
from non-divorce families.
It has been said that no one ever becomes richer due to a divorce. Its far more likely the opposite is true
though, as studies have shown that almost all families experience a drop in income following a divorce.
Even worse is the fact that half of those families will eventually descend below the national poverty line
after a divorce. Divorce can also have negative spiritual consequences too, since family church
attendance has been shown to decrease dramatically after a divorce occurs. Active participation in a
community church organization has been linked to better health and longer, stronger marriages, but with
more divorce and less churchgoing, those advantages are nullified.
Our whole society suffers when fewer people get married and more people get divorced. It creates a
situation where more people are choosing single parenthood or cohabitation over traditional two-parent
family life in the first place. There is plenty of research showing that the two-parent family is the best
environment to raise healthy, happy children. It has also been shown that the two-parent family unit is the
most important institution for stability in society.
Reversing the current U.S. trend toward divorce is obviously a noble goal, but it will also require money to
implement any substantial prevention programs. Today, the ratio of cash spent on the addressing the
negative effect of divorce is about a thousand-to-one compared to the amount spent on the prevention of
divorce. State and federal governments spend about $150 billion per year to bail out struggling singleparent households and only $150 million per year is spent on resources for pro-marriage programs.
Reallocating funds to strengthen and preserve marriage by reducing the divorce rate has proven benefits
for families and the nation as a whole. However, finding new money for pro-family, anti-divorce social
programs could become a whole new problem in the current weakened economy.



(Two completely opposite divorce bills are pending in the House of Representatives.
Marikinas Rep. Marcelino Teodoro filed an Anti-Divorce and Unlawful Dissolution
of Marriage Act, seeking to guarantee a ban on any law facilitating or recognizing
divorce. Another bill coauthored by Gabriela Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and
Emerenciana de Jesus would amend the Family Code to include a divorce provision. It
is backed by no less than Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. Following the enactment of the
reproductive health law, the divorce bills promise to stir up a new controversy

involving the Catholic Church and its supporters. Below is an op-ed supporting the
legalization of divorce. This wont be the last well hear on the subject from either side.

eople who say that divorce is not advisable for the Philippines forget or

ignore our history. The ethno-linguistic communities of the Philippine

archipelago before the Spanish conquest practiced divorce. We had a divorce
law from 1917 until August 30, 1950, when the Civil Code of 1950 took effect.
The latter law prohibited divorce for Filipinos, and the prohibition continues
under the present Family Code. But Muslim Filipinos have always practiced
divorce, which Philippine law allowed. Today, divorce continues to be
available to Muslim Filipinos under the Code of Muslim Personal Law of the
Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 1083), promulgated in 1977.
So to say that divorce does not exist in present Philippine law is not accurate.
The prohibition against divorce under Philippine law applies only to Filipinos
whose marriages are not governed by the Muslim Code. Since Philippine law
on marriage applies to all Filipino citizens even though they are residing in a
foreign country, the prohibition against divorce for non-Muslim Filipinos is
also a concern of Filipino expatriates.
We are the only country in the world that has no divorce law for all its citizens
regardless of religious belief or affiliation.
Some think that we do not need a divorce law because the Family Code, which
applies to non-Muslim Filipinos, already provides for the termination of
marriages through annulment. This argument misleads. Annulment is a
legal term that has a specific meaning. The remedy of annulment is based on
specified grounds that occurred at the time of the celebration of the marriage, such
as lack of parental consent and vitiated consent (as when a person married
another at gunpoint). The remedy of annulment expires, and the defect may
actually be cured by ratification through free and voluntary cohabitation.

Misconceptions About Annulment

When lay people speak of annulment as a means of terminating a marriage,
they actually refer to the remedy under Article 36 of the Family Code. Article
36 declares that a marriage is void from the beginning when one or both
spouses are psychologically incapacitated to perform the essential marital
obligations. Under Article 36, a court does not terminate a marriage but only
declares it void. One must prove psychological incapacity by presenting
evidence on three essential elements of the condition: that it already existed
before the marriage; that it is grave or serious; and that it is incurable. To do
this, one usually needs the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist to testify as
an expert witness.
But what if the marriage worked in the first ten years, but later the parties
drifted apart for some reason or another? What if the other spouse was
violent, unfaithful, indolent, or an alcoholic or a drug addict? What if one
spouse abandoned the family? These may not be used for annulment, or for
a marriage to be declared void under Article 36, unless it can be proved that
these are manifestations of psychological incapacity that predated the
A divorce law will provide a remedy that Article 36 does not. Divorce does
not concern itself with validity or invalidity of a marriage. It terminates a
marriage based on a ground that occurred during the marriage, which makes
the marital relationship no longer tenable, regardless of the spouses
psychological constitution. A divorce law will provide a straightforward
remedy to a marital failure. It will benefit Filipinos wherever they are.

The law should only give people a choice, to be

exercised according to their own personal beliefs.

Pending Bill
A divorce bill has been pending in the House of Representatives for the last
six years, sponsored by the representatives of the Gabriela Womens Party. The
bill lists five grounds for divorce, among them: when the spouses have been
separated in fact for at least five years or have been legally separated for at
least two years, and their reconciliation is highly improbable; when any of the
grounds recognized by law for legal separation has caused the irreparable
breakdown of the marriage. The bill has not progressed beyond the
Committee level because the energies of many were focused on the
reproductive health bill that was recently passed into law.
There is no more time to pass a divorce law in the current Congress since
elections are scheduled in May. But the bill will be filed again in the next
Congress. Can it pass? Yes, definitely, eventually, with the support of
enlightened Filipinos. The lesson we have learned from past initiatives is that
a relevant and much-needed measure that has strong popular support will
pass. Just as sustained citizen support carried the day for the reproductive
health bill, so too will strong popular support make possible the enactment of
a divorce law. People have to make their voices heard in support of the divorce
It is time to give the remedy of divorce to those who need it, even as we
respect the decision of those who want to stay married despite their miserable
marital life. To be sure, the Catholic Church will be the staunchest opponent
of the divorce bill. It will once again argue against the bill on moral grounds.
It will invoke the constitutional provision directing the State to protect
marriage and the family, and another that refers to the sanctity of family life.
But these constitutional provisions were never intended to prohibit Congress
from legalizing divorce.

Church Need Not Worry

The Catholic Church need not worry. The institutions of marriage and the
family have survived to this day, as they will survive a Philippine divorce law.
We are a secular state, where no religious group has the right to define law or
policy for the entire population. There is not one but a plurality of beliefs in
Philippine society. The law should only give people a choice, to be exercised
according to their own personal beliefs.
Every day, Filipinos get married, bear children, separate and get into other
relationships, regardless of what the law says. The lack of a divorce law for
non-Muslim Filipinos complicates further the marital and family problems of
many Filipinos. Our government has clearly failed to respond to their needs. If
the country wants to move forward, it has to confront the realities of marital
and family life of Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad. It has to pass a
divorce law now.