• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and discuss the view that the rise in divorce rates since the 1970's is a direct consequence of changes in the law. 30 marks

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and discuss the view that the rise in divorce rates since the 1970's is a direct consequence of changes in the law. 30 marks In 1971 the government set "the divorce reform act". This law made divorce easier and a lot cheaper for couples who decided they wanted a divorce and also allowed couples to divorce after only two years of marriage. Before this time divorces were hard to get and were only allowed on the basis of matrimonial offences, showing or proving that one partner had done wrong to the other. These matrimonial offences remained the main reason for divorce until 1971. Since 1971 divorces were easily carried out for more reasons other than just matrimonial offences. Since the 1970s the rates have dramatically increased because a lot of teenagers and younger people are getting married and their relationships don't last long leading to divorce. In 1985 the 1984 Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act became effective, this allowed couples to divorce after only one year of marriage. By this time many more women were independent and were working, which was a challenge to men who still expected women to be at home and doing housework. ...read more.

Middle

All these factors lead on to describe the reasons for the breakdown, as will be discovered. The risen in divorce has lead to the normalisation of divorce. Society is no longer shocked by the idea of divorce (Cockett and Tripp 1994). Our society had become known as 'the throw away society', people are less committed to make a marriage work and have higher expectations. Ronald Fletcher (1966) argues that a higher divorce rate reflects a high value on marriage. The main partner who seems too want a higher lifestyle is the woman instead of the man. So in effect women and not men today file three quarters of all divorces. An important sociologist to support this reason is Giddens (1992) who identifies a trend towards confluent love. This form of love is based primarily on intimacy rather than emotional fulfilment, (illustrating a change in values and expectations) which results in inevitable separation due to long term satisfaction not being carried out in the form of love. Another issue relevant to this debate is the one of the increased burden upon women within the family, known as the dual burden (identified by Ann Oakley). ...read more.

Conclusion

This statement is supporting the argument that there are other reasons why divorce is increasing. Looking at all the evidence it can be seen that there are a large number of factors as to why divorce has increased since the 1970s. There is no doubt that successive Acts of Parliament have made it easier for individuals or couples seeking divorce to have their marriages legally terminated. The 1969 Divorce Reform Act increased the grounds for divorce, and the 1984 Matrimonial and Family Practice Act meant marriages could be ended sooner after they had began, but these seem to have had little long-term impact on a divorce rate which was already growing dramatically. Far more important, it seems, were the effects of increasing expectations of marriage (Fletcher), the nature of modern marriage (Dennis), increasing female financial independence (Hart), and the 'secularisation of society' (Wilson). That the number of divorces per thousand married couples in the UK rose from 2.1 to 12.8 between 1961 and 1988 was more to do with changes in society than laws. The legal reforms, far from causing an increase in divorce, simply reflected society's demand for the painful and protracted process to be made easier for all concerned. ?? ?? ?? ?? Anita McCulloch 12.4 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Family, Marriage and Divorce section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Family, Marriage and Divorce essays

  1. Is Divorce Right or Wrong?

    Leviticus 21:7 'A widow or divorced woman must keep every vow she makes and every promise to abstain from something.' Numbers 30:9 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but

  2. Can the rise in the divorce rate during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s be ...

    From this we can conclude that the Act simply hastened the end of what Fletcher (1966) called 'empty shell marriages', which would have been safe from previous legislation. The other major change was the Matrimonial and Family Practice Act (1984), which 'reduced the time limit on divorce from a minimum of three years of marriage to one' (Esher College, 2001).

  1. WHAT IS DIVORCE? Divorce occurs when a marriage is legally terminated.Divorce law governs the ...

    in the 1980's, 12,000,000 children lived with a divorced parent * 80% of these children were not given an explanation on why their parents divorced * 50% of divorced people are back in court less than one year after the divorce is final.

  2. What impact does divorce and separation have on children and what effect has this ...

    accurately and, as well as, helping me create a more in-depth analysis of the impact divorce and separation has on a child. Chapter two Methodology In this chapter, I will be explaining in some detail the triangulation of methods of research I have chosen and why.

  1. Why are marriage rates declining?

    Decline in religious beliefs: the influence of religion on people is declining, and many question the purpose of a religious ceremony to tie their marriage, when they have no belief in it. All religions say that marriage is important, many religions emphasis marriage as a key aspect of life.

  2. Outline and assess the main reasons for the increase in the Divorce rate since ...

    The main partner who seems too want a higher lifestyle is the woman instead of the man. So in effect women and not men today file three quarters of all divorces. Since the divorce act, the reason for divorce did not have too be complicated.

  1. Religion and Relationships

    All Christian denominations also believe that a family and children is an important part of a marriage. Christians believe that God intended that a family to be a place where children could be raised in a loving and supportive environment, as is stated in the Bible.

  2. Religion and human relationships Religion and medical ethics - views of Christians and Moslems.

    When war is over, stop fighting. When they?ve given up- don?t treat them badly. Sanction is given to those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed able to give them victory, Surah 22:39-40. Allah helps you when you fighting for your faith.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work