by Chuck Colson
In her 1968 country tear-jerker about her divorce, Tammy Wynette sang about her son and about-to-be ex-husband, “I love you both and this will be pure H. E. double L. for me. Oh, I wish that we could stop this D.I.V.O.R.C.E.”
New research shows that Tammy is not alone.
Working with the Institute for American Values, principal investigators Professor William Doherty of the University of Minnesota and retired Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears discovered that “About forty percent of couples already deeply into the divorce process report that one or both spouses are interested in the possibility of reconciliation.”
According to their study, “Second Chances: A Proposal to Reduce Unnecessary Divorce,” this means that a significant number of divorces are preventable and thus unnecessary.
Most people believe that divorce is the result of long-term marital strife, but this turns out to be false. As Dr. Doherty and Justice Sears wrote in the Washington Post, “[O]nly a minority of divorcing couples experience high conflict and abuse during their marriages. Most divorces occur with couples who have drifted apart and handle everyday disagreements poorly.”
And they add, “It is these ‘average’ divorces that research shows are the most harmful to children.” And because the state has a compelling interest in the wellbeing of children, the state also has a compelling interest in preventing these unnecessary divorces.
That’s why Doherty and Sears have gone beyond research to develop a proposal for changing state laws.
First, they recommend a one-year waiting period before a divorce is granted. The decision to divorce is often made when emotions are hot. Once the papers are filed, couples find themselves on what Justice Sears calls “the divorce superhighway.”
Source: Christian Post
From BreakPoint, November 9, 2011, Copyright 2011, Prison Fellowship Ministries.