Examine the Reasons for Changes in the Divorce Rate Since 1969 (24 Marks)

591 Words3 Pages
One of the many factors which contribute to the changes in the divorce rate is adjustments made to the law. Amendments such as the 1969 divorce law reform act; which made the reasoning of ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’, a sole ground for divorce; whilst gradually leading to the instalment of the 1984 minimum divorce petition being reduced from three years to just one year. The modification of the law influences the change in the divorce rate because it gives unhappily married spouses the freedom to divorce more easily. However, the pervious factor does not explain why a large proportion of people chose to take advantage of this freedom. So an arguably more important reason as to why there has been a change in the divorce rate would be due to the declining stigma which society attaches to divorce. A combination of society’s exposure to the divorce cases of famous couples in the media and in everyday lives has lead to divorce becoming normalised, when in the past it would have been seen as shameful. This factor influences the change in the divorce rate because as its social disapproval lessens and divorce becomes more socially acceptable, couples become more willing to resort to divorce as a means of solving marital problems. A reason for wide society’s change of attitude towards divorce could be due to a decline in the influence of religion; which had once instilled a greater sense morality, shared norms and shared values into British society. The 2001 census shows that 43% of young people with no religion were cohabiting. The increased secularisation influences the change in the divorce rate because it makes dissatisfied couples feel more at ease to file for a divorce without having to bear the wrath of the churches opposition towards their decision. In addition to that many churches are starting to soften their attitudes towards divorce and divorcees,
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