Identify and Explain Two Reasons for the High Divorce Rate in the Contemporary Uk

303 Words2 Pages
One reason for the high divorce rate in the contemporary UK is because of the changes in the law. For example the main changes took place in 1969 where the Divorce reform act was introduced (Came into effect in 1971), this allowed couples to divorce without having to prove that their relationship has broken down e.g. by showing that they are now living apart. This made it easier for couples to divorce without feeling ashamed because the court did not require a ‘guilty’ partner to be identified. From here in 1984 the law allowed couples to petition for a divorce after one year of marriage instead of three, meaning that couples no longer had to endure an empty shell marriage over a long period of time. These main laws made it easier for couples to divorce so nothing was holding them back from divorcing making it less lengthy to divorce a partner because of the new laws removing some lengthy processes e.g. proving fault. Another reason for high divorce rates in the contemporary UK is family changes. Functionalists like Fletcher believed that divorce was rising because people were raising their expectations in marriage, this suggests that higher divorce rates means higher value of marriage. Women petition for 70% of divorces this shows that the women may be increasingly likely to feel dissatisfied with marriage. The unequal distribution of tasks may be a key factor for example Delphy and Leonard suggest that the woman already performed 57 unpaid roles for their partner. This places a great deal of pressure on the wife leading them to believe that divorce is the key to lift this burden off their shoulders. Couples also had fewer children which again may mean that there is less to keep them together leading to an increase in
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