The formal legal dissolution of a legally constituted marriage . The conditions necessary to terminate a marriage in divorce vary widely from culture to culture and over time. In certain societies the rights of men and women in this respect are still highly unequal, but there appears to be a move in Western societies towards an acceptance of the idea of irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as suitable grounds for divorce. One of the most significant trends in the wake of this liberalization of divorce laws has been the increasing propensity for divorce proceedings to be initiated by women. In addition, it should be noted that definitions of what constitute marriage and divorce also vary widely, and that in Western societies divorce is increasingly preceded by extended periods of separation between partners, which renders the legal procedure increasingly less relevant.
In the United States and Britain over the past two decades, concern over rising divorce-rates has frequently reached the status of a moral panic , and it is often stated that, given the continuation of current rates, over one in three marriages contracted will end in divorce. However, these calculations must be considered in the light of high rates of remarriage among divorcees, and an increasing propensity to establish common-law rather than formalized legal unions among those groups most at risk of divorce (for example the young). Of course, the statistics say nothing of the social difficulties and personal suffering faced by many people experiencing the effects of divorce, including the children of broken marriages. Another well-publicized statistic indicates that one in five children in Britain, by the age of 16, will have experienced the divorce or separation of their parents, given current rates. In Social Origins of Depression (1978), George Brown and Tirril Harris identified divorce of parents as one of the more stressful life-events likely to have been experienced by women suffering from neurotic depressive conditions. The deleterious effects on divorcing individuals of legal wrangling over children and housing is also well documented.
The basic statistics, and some of their social policy implications, are discussed in, Family Obligations and Social Change (1989). See also family, sociology of.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • DIVORCE — Le divorce est la rupture, consacrée par le droit, de l’union conjugale. Ce caractère le distingue nettement de la séparation de corps qui ne rompt pas le lien matrimonial, mais fait seulement disparaître l’obligation de cohabitation, et de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • DIVORCE — (Heb. גֵּרוּשִׁין), the formal dissolution of the marriage bond. IN THE BIBLE Divorce was accepted as an established custom in ancient Israel (cf. Lev. 21:7, 14; 22:13; Num. 30:10; Deut. 22:19, 29). In keeping with the other cultures of the Near… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • divorce — di·vorce 1 n [Middle French, from Latin divortium, from divortere divertere to leave one s marriage partner, from di away, apart + vertere to turn]: the dissolution of a valid marriage granted esp. on specified statutory grounds (as adultery)… …   Law dictionary

  • divorce — DIVORCE. s. m. Rupture de mariage. Le divorce estoit en usage parmy les Romains. le divorce n est point permis dans le Christianisme. Il se prend parmy nous pour la separation de corps & de biens entre les gens mariez. Ce mari & cette femme ont… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Divorce — Di*vorce , n. [F. divorce, L. divortium, fr. divortere, divertere, to turn different ways, to separate. See {Divert}.] 1. (Law) (a) A legal dissolution of the marriage contract by a court or other body having competent authority. This is properly …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divorce — DIVORCE. subs. masc. Séparation de deux époux par la rupture légale du mariage. Le divorce étoit en usage parmi les Juifs et les Romains. Le divorce n est point permis dans le Christianisme, suivant la doctrine catholique. [b]f♛/b] Il se prend… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Divorce — Di*vorce , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Divorced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Divorcing}.] [Cf. F. divorcer. See {Divorce}, n.] 1. To dissolve the marriage contract of, either wholly or partially; to separate by divorce. [1913 Webster] 2. To separate or disunite;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divorcé — divorcé, ée (di vor sé, sée) part. passé. Qui a fait divorce. Femme divorcée.    Substantivement. Un divorcé. Les divorcés …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • divorce — [də vôrs′] n. [ME & OFr < L divortium < divortere, var. of divertere, to turn different ways: see DIVERSE] 1. legal and formal dissolution of a marriage 2. any complete separation or disunion vt. divorced, divorcing 1. to dissolve legally a …   English World dictionary

  • Divorce Me C.O.D. — Divorce Me C.O.D. is a 1946 song by Merle Travis. The song was Merle Travis first release to make it to number one on the Folk Juke Box charts where it stayed for fourteen weeks and a total of twenty three weeks on the chart [1]. The B side of… …   Wikipedia

  • divorce — DIVORCE: Si Napoléon n avait pas divorcé, il serait encore sur le trône …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.