How could things like joint custody, child support, alimony and equal property division cause more divorce? The answer is this – if you make something easier to do, more people will do it.
Take health care for example, our current system often times makes people pay small copays when they go for medical care, and when they don’t feel the cost, they will go the doctor for the smallest reasons increasing crowding of medical facilities and taking away resources from people who truly need critical medical care. But when people are made to pay larger copays, it makes them think twice before they go to the doctor and this reduces overuse and frivolous use of medical facilities.
The same principle applies to divorce. Before the mid 1800’s and throughout most of human history women were considered the property of their husbands, along with their children. In the rare cases that a woman actually did secure a divorce from her husband, she left only with the clothes on her back, not her children, and not any property.
You can imagine that under these circumstances, most women would never leave their husbands for fear of losing their children and becoming destitute.
But in the mid 1800’s as the early women’s rights movements began to arise, women began to be able to actually get custody of their children, and in some cases even secure property and support from their soon to be ex-husbands.
To be sure many people had good intentions in trying to make divorce easier for women. They reasoned that it was in the best interests of the children to keep them with their mother, and that she would need to be financially supported in caring for them.
But until the 1960’s a man or woman would have to prove cause for divorce (most often infidelity or some other serious issue like abuse or abandonment).
Not only did the new no fault divorce laws help to encourage divorce, but the new war on poverty of the 1960’s also helped to encourage divorce. Single mothers could now apply for government assistance to help with their children.
So even if a woman was married to a man of meager means, she could take the child support from him, and then go to the government to make up the difference through food assistance or other programs. These programs only became more and more expansive throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. It was only in the 1990’s when Bill Clinton was forced by a Republican congress to sign welfare reform that some of the expansion was rolled back a bit and halted.
Thanks to President Obama and our Great Recession, many of these welfare reforms have been softened or done away with all together.
The result is a society in which a woman can leave her husband at any time, for no reason and she can take half his property and force him to pay child support or alimony. If he does not make a lot of money, this same woman can depend on our social safety net to make up the difference.
It should come as no surprise then, that today 70% of divorces are filed by women. We have made it easier for them to do, so they do it. Most divorces do not occur because of infidelity or abuse(which would be Biblical reasons for divorce in my opinion), the vast majority(at least 80% or more) of divorces occur over irreconcilable differences like the couple growing apart, career issues, and disagreements about how to spend money.
In western society, the nuclear family is crumbling, and this is in larger part due to the reason that we subsidize divorce, and make it so easy.
As I have said before many times on this blog, feminism and one of its many children, easy divorce, will eventually come to an end one way or the other. It will either end before western culture collapses because people begin to see a direct correlation between the collapse of marriage and the family, and the financial stresses that broken families put on our society(through crime and poverty), or it will end because we run out of money and the governments collapse.