9311 Harrington Dr.
Potomac, MD 20854
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike McManus
New Strategy to Reform Divorce
Marriage Savers, which has worked with 10,000 clergy in 222 cities to cut divorce rates, announces the creation of the www.ReformDivorce.org website to motivate those hurt by divorce - to fight for two Divorce Reforms that could slash America's divorce rate in half.
"There are 30 million adult children of divorce who were shattered by their parents divorce, and another 24 million who suffered a divorce they did not want. Most view divorce as a personal issue, but in a larger sense No Fault Divorce, a law first signed in California in 1969 by then Gov. Ronald Reagan, has been the biggest killer of marriage in America. It swept the nation in the 1970s, pushing divorces up from 708,000 in 1970 to 1,036,000 five years later.
"The major reason why America has the world's highest divorce rate is that one spouse can unilaterally divorce another," says Mike McManus, President and Co-Founder of Marriage Savers with his wife, Harriet. "Research reports that in four out of five cases, one spouse did not want the divorce, but had no choice. No-Fault Divorce should be called Unilateral Divorce. "
However, there are two reforms which state legislatures could pass that could spare 500,000 kids a year from seeing their parents divorce:
- Replace No Fault Divorce with Mutual Consent. In cases involving children, and where no allegation is made of abuse, adultery, etc. - states could require that any divorce be agreed to by both husband and wife. What was entered into by two people willingly would not be terminated unless both agree. This reform would reduce divorce rates by 30%, estimates John Crouch, Director of Americans for Divorce Reform.
- Replace Sole Custody with Joint Custody or Shared Parenting in which both parents would have access to their children at least one third of each week. Of six states which passed the strongest Joint Custody laws, five also enjoyed the largest drop in the divorce rate: Montana, Kansas, Connecticut, Idaho and Alaska. Why? "If a parent knows they will have to interact with the other child's parents while the child is growing up, there is less incentive to divorce," says David L. Levy, CEO of Children's Rights Council. He and Crouch estimate this reform could cut divorce by another 20%.
Marriage Savers hopes its new website, ReformDivorce.com, will mobilize thousands of those harmed by divorce to become activists, urging their state legislatures to pass these reforms that could protect 500,000 children a year from seeing their parents divorce.