The rate of divorce is not the same as the number of people divorced every year. It refers to a comparative figure seen in the context of the number of people who married too. So, while the Office of National Statistics does claim that this has been the third year in line when the number of people who have divorced has shown a decline, the truth is not so jubilantly simple.
2005, the year that started this trend, also showed a record low in the number of marriages. So fewer people are marrying, more are parting. The Overall Effect Most social observers have been pointing out that this persistent growth of divorce would create a total social imbalance in the country, leading to chaos and misery.
The religious leaders have also been sounding doom for some time now. The latest to join the brigade are environmentalists who have come up with the very apparent fact that more families mean more fuel consumption and more greenhouse emissions, so the more people share cars, electricity, water etc, the better would it be. But the overall effect has been what usually happens in such cases. The issue of divorce is accepted by now, and there seems to be very little public debate on it.
Divorces will happen. The questions that come up most concern how to make it easier, how to cope with it, and how to deal with the children who are victimized by it. Divorce and the Family The greatest effect can be seen in the way families are perceived and structured now. The large unit of three generations living under one roof has long disintegrated. The nuclear family of the parents and the child has also broken into smaller bits.
Divorce, in general, has led to a slackening of family ties to the point where they are becoming non-existent in most cases.
- Single parent family: The custodian parent stays with the child. The number of single parents has gone up drastically in the UK over the past few years. This has had a great effect on every aspect of life in the UK, and will be mentioned again below.
- Non-custodian parent family: The parent who does not win custody rights becomes a separate family unit on his or her own, maintaining contact with the erstwhile family through visitation.
- Single person family: One person cannot be called a 'family', but the number of lone divorcees staying alone and running their own 'household' has created this strange misnomer.
Keeping in touch over mail and phone is accepted, and a visit is an occasional gesture. What It May Lead To The high rate of divorce and its effects, as discussed above, will begin to show in the social fabric in a long-term way.
Effect on Future Generations The greatest effect that a continuation of the divorce boom will have on future generations is the loss of childhood. Children would not be familiar with what security is, how a home is supposed to be, and who parents are. We are raising a breed of urban waifs whose sole aim in life is to gain economic security as fast as possible at any cost, and then keep spending on oneself. Relations are losing all meaning and commitments, in general, are hard to get.
- This will lead to a disintegration of the family unit.
- It will lead to greater misery and shortening of childhood years. Children will grow up all too fast, missing out on too many things on their way.
- This will make the years that create a gap between two consecutive generations lesser, creating greater chances of miscommunication.
- The rate of emotional disorders, juvenile crimes, and non-committal relations will all keep going up.
This affects every kind of relation, including professional ones. It will also mean that team ethics will take a beating in the long run. Effect on Attitude towards Marriage The attitude towards marriage is already very different from what it was in the 1960s or even 1980s. Most young people in the UK feel that marriage does not have much value as an institution, and can be made as a sort of gesture like buying a ring or taking your fiancé on a trip. Cohabitation is on the rise, but there, too, the rate of parting ways is quite high -- according to some, even more than divorce.
James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie Divorce see http://www.quickie-divorce.com