How to Increase the Marriage Rate. Professor Gordon Finley hits the nail on the head in USA Today.
Miami, Florida–Professor Gordon Finley of Florida International University published a great letter today in USA Today. His letter, reproduced below with his permission, tells us that marriage rates cannot be improved without first removing gender-based biases from divorce court. It is a nice, succinct statement of the problem.
Fear of divorce stunts many young adults’ decision to marry
Gordon E. Finley, Professor of psychology, Florida International University – Miami
While social science commentators quoted in USA TODAY’s article gave a variety of reasons for why young adults are delaying marriage, they omitted the most critical: divorce (“Young adults delaying marriage,” Life, Wednesday).
With a 50% divorce rate for first marriages, women overwhelmingly initiating divorce and mothers getting custody about 85% of the time while fathers get visitation, child support and alimony, it is easy to see why any man wouldn’t want to get married.
Further, many of these young adults are children of divorce who know firsthand the consequences.
If one wants to increase marriage rates, one first must reform divorce laws to make them equitable for both fathers and mothers and help children maintain relationships with both parents.