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Unformatted text preview: Soc 120: Marriage and the Family
Lecture 20: Divorce II Prof. Elwert companionate to individualized Review Divorce I History Three periods Trends & group differences divorce tolerance- americans have come to grips with the reality of divorce fault principle is still in place, but the reasons for divorce that have stemmed from fault principle have gradually expanded 1970's- No Fault Divorce Act: america has shifted to unrestricted divorce- started in California All that is needed for law to grant divorce is that husband and wife state they have irreconcilable differences (no one person's fault) marriage satisfaction threshold is extremely high (higher standards for staying in the marriage, lower standards for dropping out) Rise of divorce led to normalization of divorce (become really common and so we tend to accept as "ok") since 1980s- divorce rate has fallen for college graduates but risen for everyone else Explanations Macro when(getting(a( No fault divorce legislation Cultural change divorce(became( Women's employment easier-->divorce(rate( Opportunity effect increased Income effect but(even(if(law(had( Women in the workforce not(changed,(divorce( Men's employment rate(would've( increased(anyway Women in Labor Force- woman 0inancially able to get divorce and husband is less desirable (wives don't depend on husbands for money) 1 Preview Divorce II Explanations Micro Consequences for spouses Men Women Micro Explanations I Young age at marriage Strong risk factor Cannot explain macro trends
before age 20. one of the best predictors of divorce in terms on numbers. about half of marriages of 18 years or younger will end within 15 years
Lack of homogamy: Large age differences, strong religious ideals, Lack of homogamy Parental divorce Weak but consistent risk factor Strong risk factor are associated with Intergenerational transmission divorce Not simply by absence of second parent (vis-vis death) Parental divorce: 2 Micro Explanations II Cohabitation Strong predictor of divorce Likely pure selection, not causation Cohabitors more likely to divorce regardless of cohabitation But may actually decrease divorce (Elwert) Trial marriage: worse matches weeded out in cohabitation, better matches sort into marriage. Cohabitation prevents divorces by preventing formation of potentially doomed marriages No effect for cohabitors who do marry their partner Divorce as a Process
Distinguish between marital conflict, separation, and legal divorce (Amato 2000) Conflict/unhappiness often prolonged period Separation physically moving apart Divorce Legal separation of assets Legal and physical arrangements for child custody De facto custody still mostly goes to mothers Coordination of parental efforts Noncustodial parent (hopefully) pays child support Co-parenting (coordinate/cooperate) vs. parallel parenting (operate separately) 3 Consequences for Spouses Crisis period
~ 1-2 years of intense emotional upheaval, ambiguous attachment for both spouses Consequences for women Sharp decrease in average economic well-being
~30% decline in standard of living (composition adjusted) Coping strategies: residential moves,living with parents, reenter LF Stress and depression as adjust to being worker and primary parent. Alimony (increasingly rare) Child support 60% if divorced mothers supposed to receive support 49% of custodial mothers get anything ($4,650 in 2001 on average) (Sorenson 2003) Consequences for Spouses Consequences for men Average divorced man suffers economic hardship, too though less than average divorced woman (McManus & DiPrete 2001) Average male standard of living declines 15-20% Loss of wife s income, economies of scale, child support payments But men contributing >80% of pre-divorce income gain in relative standard of living Tight coupling of marriage and fatherhood for men Sharp decline in contact with children and change in nature of time spent together (`fun' activities outside the house rather tan daily interaction) However, increase in single father families (17% of single parent families in 2007), often coresident with other relatives 4 ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2012 for the course SOC 120 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Wisconsin.
- Fall '08