Almost half of us live with broken families. I’m not talking about border towns: I’m looking at mainstreet USA and the people we walk past every day. Almost half of us will divorce. That means those kids are losing a mom or a dad.
Divorce isn’t inevitable, and a large fraction of these couples don’t want to break up. You see, family courts enforce divorce if anyone wants to leave the family. I phrased it that way on purpose since one spouse usually wants to stay married. If you look at what the kids want, they almost always want the parents to work out their differences. Add to that the children whose parents never got married in the first place. These kids also want to know their mom AND their dad.
Including the kids, we’re talking about a half million people each year who wanted the family to stay together…but the government and the courts tore the family apart. Illegal immigrants are a small problem in comparison.
We were told that “no fault” divorce would be great. In reality, “no fault” really means “unilateral” divorce. The state will take the side of the person who wants the marriage the least. Any reason, or no reason at all, is enough to dissolve the marriage. The reluctant spouse and children don’t get a vote. Anyone who wants out can use the enormous power of the state to get what they want.
Then there is the problem of single parents. We thought that single moms needed help from the state. In reality, we have generations of young people supported and raised by the state. Take a hard look at how they and their families have done and you have to call it a disaster.
The results are devastating. Children suffer in almost every way. Broken families leave lifetime deficits in emotional functioning, ADHD, rates of addiction, suicide, sexual abuse and out of wedlock pregnancy, intelligence, school performance, and lifetime earnings. Add marriage formation and marriage stability to their losses. These effects persist for generations.
If the problems are so bad, then why don’t we fix them? Unfortunately, those deficits fit the political agenda of the social welfare lobby. Disposable marriage fits the needs of our political elites.
Yes, let’s stop family breakup. Fix your marriage…and also close the border.
What did you think of your parents’ divorce?