As it has become apparent that social conservatives have all but lost their battle on the front against same-sex marriage. It appears that some have taken on a new crusade – making divorce more difficult for all. While those that support these laws say they are doing so for the sake of society, they may ultimately be hurting a large proportion of the population, namely divorced women.
Recently, a group of 50 scholars and religious leaders wrote a letter to the Pope calling attention to the increase in cohabitation, divorce, and non-marital childbearing in America. They claim that these trends have a negative effect on society, leading to lower net worth and economic mobility, poverty, and welfare, for women and children in particular. They call for an inquiry as to the influence of U.S. laws permitting no-fault divorce – divorce that is permitted without requiring proof of wrongdoing.
Conservative politicians have likewise campaigned for a nationwide ban on no-fault divorces despite studies that show these divorces can benefit society. A Stanford University study found that states that legalized such divorces saw a 33% drop in domestic violence rates in just ten years. They also noted an 11% to 19% decline in women committing suicide.
Yet the conservative push for a tougher divorce process continues to make headway. Another form of divorce reform includes a mandatory “cooling off” period before a divorce is possible. This law is already in effect in several states, including Maryland, which requires a minimum 12-month separation before permitting divorce.
Conversely, some of the laws proposed by conservatives appear not to make divorce harder in general, but rather harder for the economically weaker party only. Several states have already begun to pass laws that reduce the time period for alimony payments, make prenuptial agreements harder to fight, and make it much more difficult for unmarried partners to seek financial support after the relationship is over. These laws disproportionately affect women, who represent 97% of those seeking financial support from their exes.
Women are often less advantaged than their male counterparts following a divorce. This is typically due to their having taken the role as primary homemaker during the marriage. A wife may have lost educational or career development opportunities and have a lower earning potential as a result. In cases such as these, laws that require the wealthier spouse to provide financial support to the other serve to equal the disparity.
Baltimore Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones, & Miles Offer Compassionate Legal Council
Baltimore divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are committed to protecting your rights and financial security. We offer experienced and compassionate legal council on all issues of Maryland family law including divorce, spousal support, child custody, prenuptial agreements, and domestic violence. To arrange your free consultation with one of our dedicated and caring Baltimore divorce lawyers, call 443-589-0150 or contact us online.
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