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Divorce-Practice Questions.

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Divorce-Practice Questions 1. The divorce rate is the amount of people divorcing each year per 1000 married couples in England and Wales. 2. Four types of household structure which have increased in proportion in the last twenty years are: * Gay and lesbian families-these are gay and lesbian couples cohabiting together as there are no laws for them to marry. * Cohabitation-an arrangement whereby couples who are not legally married live together in a sexual relationship like husband and wife. * One parent family-this is where one parent brings up the child/children on their own; in some cases the child will alternate between the two parents. * The reconstituted family-sometimes referred to as step-families. This type of family is made up of divorced or widowed people who have remarried and their children from previous marriage or cohabitation. 3. Despite minor fluctuations, there was a steady rise in divorce rates in Britain throughout the twentieth century. The figures show a rising divorce rate over the period from 1961 to 1997, although in the 1990's the divorces rate seems to have stabilised at around 13per thousand married people. ...read more.


New legislation relating to divorce was introduced at the end of 1984. This reduced the period a couple needed to be married before they could petition for divorce, from three years, to one year. The Family Law Bill of 1996 ended the reliance upon showing that one or both partners were at fault in order to prove that the marriage had broken down. Instead, the partners simply had to assert that the marriage had broken down and undergo a 'period of reflection' to consider whether a reconciliation was possible. Normally this period was one year, but for those with children under 16, or where one spouse asked for more time, the period was eighteen months. Despite a reduction in costs, divorce was still an expensive process during the first half of the twentieth century. It was beyond the means of many of the less wealthy. This was particularly changed by the Legal Aid and Advice Act of 1949 which provided free legal advice and paid solicitors' fees for those who could not afford them. ...read more.


Families are now more isolated from their wider kin and so their stigma within extended families of divorce may be reduced. Also, if families are isolated from a wide range of kin, without the support provided by extended families this may, as Leach argues, lead to greater emotional tension. There is also now much less social disapproval of divorce. As divorce becomes more 'normalised', society is more tolerant and understanding to marital breakdown. This can be traced to secularisation in Western society. Less than half of marriages have a religious ceremony now, even among these, few are regular churchgoers. There is no absolute reason for the increase in divorce. Divorce law has simply made it easier, yet it doesn't explain why divorce has increased when there has been no parallel change in the law. Divorce laws are perhaps better seen as a reflection of our attitudes towards divorce and not a cause of it. Legal changes may have allowed more divorced to take place, but they do not explain why more individuals choose to take the option. Sharanjit Sunner Sociology L6A JTH SC 14/11/03 - 1 - ...read more.

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