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Chapter 14 Divorce and Remarriage

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1 Chapter 14 Divorce and Remarriage

2 Macro Factors Contributing to Divorce
Divorce: the termination of a valid marriage contract Divorce occurs more frequently today than in the earlier days of the U.S. due to various structural and cultural factors.

3 Macro Factors Changing family functions and structure
Liberal divorce laws No-fault divorce: a divorce in which neither party is identified as the guilty party or the cause of the divorce Prenuptial agreements Fewer moral and religious sanctions It is debatable whether or not no-fault divorce actually causes divorce.

4 Macro Factors More divorce models Mobility and anonymity
Social class, ethnicity, and culture Educated white Americans are the least likely to divorce Discussion: How many divorces are socially acceptable for one individual?

5 Micro Factors Contributing to Divorce
Micro factors are individual factors that are predictive of divorce. More likely to be seen as the cause of the divorce

6 Micro Factors Falling out of love Not spending enough time together
Decreasing positive behaviors: compliments, physical affection Having an affair Poor conflict resolution skills Changing values

7 Micro Factors Satiation: habituation, the state in which a stimulus loses its value with repeated exposure Believing life will be better if divorced

8 Ending Relationship Psychological functioning and happiness of spouses going through a divorce improve after the divorce. Data are mixed on whether remaining unhappily married or getting divorced and remarried has a more positive outcome for the spouses. Discussion: What might be the positive outcomes of staying in an unhappy marriage?

9 Gender Differences in Filing for Divorce
Women are the first to seek help when there is trouble in the relationship. Women are likely to feel a renewed sense of self-identity. Men are concerned about separation from their children.

10 Consequences for Spouses Who Divorce
The spouse who did not instigate the divorce is more vulnerable to depression. Women fare better emotionally after a divorce. Men are likely to date and remarry sooner. Relationships with extended family change. Spouses recover sooner if they find new interests.

11 Consequences Both women and men experience a drop in income.
Women tend to suffer more financially. Over half of custodial mothers are awarded child support but most find the amount inadequate.

12 Consequences Divorced mothers serve as gatekeepers for the relationship children have with the father. A father’s relationship with a daughter is usually more damaged than his relationship with a son. Shared parenting dysfunction: refers to the set of behaviors on the part of each parent that are focused on hurting the other spouse Discussion: What kinds of behaviors would lead to shared parenting dysfunction?

13 Consequences Parental alienation syndrome: a disturbance in which children are obsessively preoccupied with deprecation or criticism of a parent Parental alienation: an alliance between a parent and a child that isolates the other parent

14 Effects of Divorce on Children
Benefits of divorce for children Better than living in high-conflict home Learn resilience Receive more attention Negative outcomes of divorce for children Less marital satisfaction Poorer communication skills Poorer parent-child relationships

15 Effects on Children The primary factor that determines the effect of divorce on children is the degree to which the divorcing parents are civil or adversarial. Legal and physical custody arrangements are also important.

16 Effects on Children Legal custody: decisional authority over major issues involving the child Physical custody: visitation, distribution of parenting time following divorce Judges in all states are bound by the “best interests of the child.” Discussion: What are the best interests of the child?

17 Prerequisites for Having a Successful Divorce
Mediate rather than litigate the divorce. Divorce mediation: process in which divorcing parties make agreements with a third party about custody, visitation, child support, and property. Coparent with your ex-spouse. Take some responsibility for the divorce. Learn from the divorce. Create positive thoughts. Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Relax and exercise.

18 Successful Divorce Let go of anger and have fun.
Continue interpersonal connections. Allow time to heal. Divorcing spouses also lose their in-laws. In some cases these are close relationships.

19 Successful Divorce Psychological stages of divorce Denial Depression
Anger or ambivalence New lifestyle and identity Acceptance and integration Discussion: What are the similarities and differences between a death and a divorce?

20 Stepfamilies Blended family: a family in which new spouses have children from previous relationships Binuclear family: a family that spans two households Stepfamily: a family in which partners bring children from previous relationships into the new home Stepfamily is currently the preferred term.

21 Stepfamilies Unique aspects of stepfamilies:
Children are biologically related to only one parent. Stepfamily members have experienced loss. Stepfamily members are connected to others outside their family unit. Children may have two homes. Stepfamilies have reduced disposable income.

22 Stepfamilies Unique aspects of stepfamilies
Step families are stigmatized by stepism: the assumption that stepfamilies are inferior. Married couples begin their marriage with children in the home. The law usually recognizes children of the first family.

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