Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Hope for Divorce Reform

The Hope of Divorce Reform

Many people can’t remember or even imagine a time when there were any limits on divorce in the United States.  No-fault divorce has become such a part of our culture that the notion of restrictions on the reasons people can be divorced seem totally foreign.
Yet there was a time when our culture viewed marriage not primarily as an institution for the gratification of adults, but as an institution for the sake of the protection of children.  The Church, of course, sees marriage as an institution for the well-being of children and the sanctification of those who are called to that vocation.
The prevalence of divorce and the epidemic of “deadbeat dads” have done more to destroy our society than any evil save abortion, in my opinion.  Without question there are women and men who have joined their children as victims of divorce – one spouse decides they are not compatible or that they no longer wish to remain in a marriage, and there’s nothing the other can do.  Many of these people display heroic efforts to be loving parents and safeguard their children’s well-being. 
It is people like these, as well as their children, that will be greatly served if the efforts for divorce reform progressing through some statehouses pass and spread.
In Georgia, HB 684 would require parents seeking a divorce to take a class on the effects of divorce on children.  They would then be given a “cooling-off” period before they could file, and the divorce would not be granted for a year. 
Similar bills have been introduced in Texas, and an even more stringent waiting-period bill recently stalled in North Carolina (which already requires a year’s delay), but hopefully will be revived.
There is no question that the scourge of divorce has affected and deformed multiple generations of young people, and caused immeasurable pains to both men and women who have seen their spouses walk away from vows they had taken seriously.
There is very little we need more desperately than serious divorce reform.