The popularity of marriage is declining and divorces are more common than ever before. According to divorce statistics recently released by Statistics South Africa, there was an 8.1% decline in registered marriages from 2014 to 2015.
‘Yes, your marriage matters’ is the theme of SA Marriage Week held nationally from 1 to 7 September, and is an awareness campaign to remind couples of the necessity of a healthy marriage. Although 138 267 legal marriages were registered, Stats SA received 25 260 completed divorce documents that were processed by the end of December 2016, as opposed to the 24 689 received in 2014. This reflects an unsettling 2.3% increase in the divorce rate. Especially when you consider the emotional and financial consequences for all involved.
Roughly 90% of all divorces lead to a father figure that is uninvolved, or only partially involved with their children. According to the website mediate.com it is more difficult for men to emotionally cope after a divorce and experience a greater loss of intimacy and social connection, as well as a weaker financial situation.
The negative effects of a divorce on children are widely reported, with statistics including that children from a divorced home are five times more likely to lead a poverty stricken life than children with married parents. It is also speculated that children from a divorced home get ill more easily and take longer to recover. Although this is not always the case and children from divorced homes can avoid these consequences, it is undoubtedly true that the trauma of divorce leaves deep and enduring scars. Psychologist Judith Wallerstein followed a group of children from divorced homes from the 1970’s to the 1990’s and found that even after 25 years after a divorce these children still bear the consequences with mentionable fears for loss, change and conflict. It was especially evident when they entered into their own romantic relationships. Her research is confirmed by other studies. Children from divorced homes are also more in favour of premarital sex and live-in relationships and they are also more prone to a divorce themselves.
So is it truly worth it? Does divorce solve problems or just create a multitude of new ones? Stand up for your marriage by registering for free on www.samarriageweek.co.za.
Who can help?
Mamas & Papas magazine’s family law expert, Adv. Veerash Srikison from www.fairpractice.co.za
specialises in mediation as a preferred method of conflict resolution before, during and after divorce. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Monja Basson. Image: Pixabay