Oklahoma Tries And Fails To Halt Rise In Divorce Rate :: Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”

Many states have experimented with ways to shore up family units. Some have considered schemes to lengthen the amount of time couples must be separated before divorces will be approved by a judge. Others have mandated counseling sessions or parenting courses. In Oklahoma, the state did more than just pass laws; it spent more than $70 million trying to lower its divorce rate, something that appears to have done little or nothing to lower the rate.

Rising Bar graph Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law Attorney.jpgNew numbers released by the Census Bureau show that 13.5 percent of adults in Oklahoma filed for divorce in 2012, up from 11.6 percent in 2000. The rate is substantial and ranks Oklahoma’s among the highest divorce rates in the nation. The trouble is that this rate was reached despite nearly 14 years and $70 million spent by the government trying to fight divorce.

Back in 1999, Oklahoma created the Marriage Initiative, funded largely by federal welfare money. The organization offers counseling and workshops for couples in nearly every stage of a relationship, from those who are simply dating to those considering divorce. Estimates say that around 10 percent of the state’s adults have participated in workshops put on by the Marriage Initiative, something that appears to have done little to prevent the demise of relationships.

The results indicate that other states such as Texas, Georgia and even North Carolina where legislators are considering plans to make divorce more difficult to obtain should reconsider. These stalling techniques not only have not been shown to help, they might actually make things worse.

Groups advocating on behalf of abused women point out that every time legislators create barriers to ending a marriage it makes it that much harder for victimized women to leave potentially abusive husbands. Victims of physical violence already have a difficult time making a clean break and if such women are forced to sit through counseling sessions or workshops with their abusers it can add insult to very real injuries.

Though no one likes the idea of a high divorce rate, the reality is that easily obtained divorces have been shown to reduce rates of domestic violence and lower the probability that couples remain trapped for years in miserable relationships.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family matter then you need the help of experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce.

About the Author:

Matthew ArnoldARNOLD&SMITH_243 3.jpg is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on most aspects of Family law including: divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Mr. Arnold is an experienced trial attorney who has tried jury and bench trials in both North Carolina District Court and North Carolina Superior Court.

Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.


“Oklahoma’s Climbing Divorce Rate Shows Why Government Marriage Programs Fail,” by Robin Marty, published at Care2.com.

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