August 25, 2011

TAKING BACK MARRIAGE:

Divorce reform could save billions in government aid (Cheryl Wetzstein, 8/15/11, The Washington Times)

Now that government belt-tightening has become a national obsession, divorce-reform advocates are making the argument that they can be part of the solution.

Divorce is costly for everyone, they argue, and encouraging troubled couples to try to work things out could benefit the national bottom line.

The average split costs a couple $2,500. A new single-parent family with children can cost the government $20,000 to $30,000 a year. That's $33 billion to $112 billion a year total in divorce-related social-service subsidies and lost revenue. [...]

Even a "modest reduction" in the U.S. divorce rate likely would benefit 400,000 children and save taxpayers significant sums, wrote retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears and University of Minnesota professor William J. Doherty, proponents of a new "Second Chances" divorce reform.

"We have to rethink this 'easy-to-divorce' strategy," added Michael McManus, author and founder of Marriage Savers, which promotes a community marriage strategy that has been shown to reduce divorce rates by an average of 17.5 percent.

Americans have consistently supported more restrictive divorce laws. For more than 30 years, the General Social Survey asked Americans if divorce should be "easier or more difficult to obtain than it is now?" The most popular answer is always "more difficult."


Posted by at August 25, 2011 7:48 AM
  

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