Divorce is the end of a marriage before the death of either spouse. Although marriage is a personal, social and/or religious commitment, it is a legal agreement and therefore divorce is a legal process which can only be certified by a court of law.
In contrast, an annulment
declares that a marriage is void. Despite this difference, both annulment and divorce have the same issues that are addressed legally, such as child support
, child custody
arrangements and distributions of assets and debt
The frequency of divorce continues to rise in the United States. Estimates place first marriages at a 50% divorce rate or higher, and 60%-75% for second marriages
. Some reasons for the higher failure rate of second marriages are the strain involved with step-families
and failure to properly heal and learn what went wrong in the first marriage.
With this rise of the number of divorces, there are efforts underway to address the pain, expense, and of divorce. Many couples are turning to mediators
, and another method which is growing on popularity is Collaborative Divorce
Whichever method is selected, States are starting to require that parents take a parenting class and obtain a certificate prior to certifying the divorce in an attempt to put the needs of children first in the process. Despite this, the hurt and rage in one or both spouses often take over during (and after) a divorce and the children
suffer anyway. Some states such as Oregon have adopted the idea of a "Parenting Plan", and will assist people in putting one together. It is crucial that every effort be followed that will help divorcing people keep the needs and well-being of their children over their own agenda or anger.