Can Delaying Divorce Save Marriages, or Is It a Recipe for Disaster?
Over half of all marriages end in divorce. This phrase has gone beyond being a simple statistic. It’s gone beyond a warning for young couples entering into matrimony. It’s reached the stage where most people in the U.S. consider it a simple great truism. If you get married, you’ve got a 50-50 shot at success—not odds that most professional Vegas gamblers would take. Divorce has become such a mainstay in our society that divorce lawyers in Colorado and in other states all over the Union enjoy almost “ho-hum” status on television commercials.
There are recent studies, however, that claim that a great number of divorces in our society may in fact be preventable. The truth, these studies say, is that only a small fraction of divorce cases come out of a long period of misery, abuse, or intense unhappiness in the relationship. As such, it may be advantageous for people to experiment with delaying divorce to give the relationship a chance for reconciliation. Studies show that the earlier in the process the couple is, the more likely they are to be open to such reconciliation.
This is huge news, as those inevitably the most damaged by divorce are offspring, who suffer when parents enter child custody battles as part of the process. Indeed, child custody issues can transform a crumbling marriage from salvageable to unresolvedly bitter.
Making a slight adjustment and adding a timeframe for the allowance of reconciliation between the couple, perhaps with counselors and family law attorneys acting as mediators between the couple could make a huge difference. Some are even calling for legislation to be passed to this effect—the legislation, called the Second Chance Act, would enact a mandatory one-year waiting period between filing for divorce and the actual process, and include education about reconciliation efforts during that time.
It’s an interesting prospect but one that requires much more study.