Divorce in America

Last week, I learned that Huffington Post had launched a section on its website about divorce.

Arianna Huffington is a product of divorced parents and she is also divorced, with children. In her article about the launch of the section, she said, "I've always thought that, as a country, we do a lousy job of addressing how we can do divorce differently -- and better. Especially when there are children involved."

Instead of spending the time and energy to help people go through a divorce, wouldn't it make more sense to spend the time and energy on helping people prepare for marriage and do it well? Maybe we wouldn't have so many broken-hearted kids. The divorce section was inspired by Nora Ephron and her writings on her own divorce. She is a regular contributor.

Ephron recognizes the impact of divorce on kids. She writes in her article, Nora Ephron: The D Word "But I can't think of anything good about divorce as far as the children are concerned. You can't kid yourself about that, although many people do. They say things like, "It's better for children not to grow up with their parents in an unhappy marriage." But unless the par­ents are beating each other up, or abusing the children, kids are better off if their parents are together. Chil­dren are much too young to shuttle between houses. They're too young to handle the idea that the two peo­ple they love most in the world don't love each other anymore, if they ever did. They're too young to under­stand that all the wishful thinking in the world won't bring their parents back together. And the newfangled rigmarole of joint custody doesn't do anything to ease the cold reality: in order to see one parent, the divorced child must walk out on the other."

On the upside, at least they are including some notable scholars, who support working at marriage and are giving some good advice about marriage, divorce, and children. Included on the page are Elizabeth Marquardt: Why Your "Good Enough" Marriage Is Good for Your Kids and a Q&A with Judith Wallerstein, author of The Unexpeccted Legacy of Divorce.