University of Asia and the Pacific Pearl drive, Ortigas Divorce Bill An argumentative paper Submitted as partial fulfillment For the course requirements in English 102 Submitted to: Ms. Judy Tanael 10/8/2012 Is Divorce really necessary? According to the Compendium of the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Marriage means that couples would establish a marital and exclusive bond between them (Ratzinger, 2005). This bond can never be broken unless the marriage is null or declared by an ecclesiastical authority that they be separated (Ratzinger, 2005).
Coming from God’s Law, a marriage must not be destroyed because of the bond that is eternally established (Ratzinger, 2005). The Philippines, on the other hand, known for its being a religious country, generally, believes in God. Therefore, it would be bizarre for Catholic’s to accept the promulgation this bill. Despite the religious notion, divorce has several effects on children, family and the society itself. Not only does divorce create dispute in the family, it is possible that it be inclined to crimes that would be discussed further.
The purpose of this paper is for the reader to determine whether or not this bill must be implemented or not. This paper intends to defend the author’s stand by providing reasonable arguments for the counter arguments. There are many reasons why the Philippines should not have a divorce law. Although it would be impossible to state them all, this paper intends to discuss the major ones. According to the H. B. 1799, this bill proposes the protection and fundamental equality of men and women (Ilagan & De Jesus, 2010).
Proponents of the bill propose is a means to deal with domestic problems such as marital abuse, violence, and possibly psychological incapacities (Ilagan & De Jesus, 2010). Does it really protect and safeguard equality for men and women in any way? This paper suggests that this bill does little to protect the future economic well-being of dependent spouses, which tend to be female. Divorce will not protect men, women or even the children for that matter. Is it really a solution for marital conflicts?
It is true that divorce can be a medicine for these reasons but think of it as a medicine that is not recommended. Why? If a couple resort to divorce because maybe of an abusive spouse, do you think that the abusive spouse wouldn’t repeat what he did with his former spouse? And when he does, what do you suggest would happen? I think a divorce remedy could come in handy. What I am trying to say here is that, marriages and marital conflicts could be fixed. Abuse, violence and psychological incapacities are problems that can easily be cured.
How? By fearing God and teaching morality. If we fear God and know what morality really means, then none of these would have happened in the first place. As what God said, “Wives, submit to your husbands. Husbands, love your wife as you love yourselves…” (Ephesians 5:22-33). This is where you gain happiness and fullness of marital life and your family. Divorce leads to long-term negative effects on the family. It affects every member of the family nucleus, and when there are children involved they are the most affected of all.
Children from divorced families are more likely to suffer from psychological difficulties than those of intact families (Portnoy, 2008). These problems include but are not limited to misconduct, poor academic performance, and earlier than usual sexual activity (Portnoy, 2008). In addition, divorce leads to long-term negative effects on the family. It can lead to several problems that could affect not only the spouses but also, most especially, their children.
Studies suggest that there are long-term effects on the children’s psychological adjustment that could affect their future relationships, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, conduct problems, academic performance, relationships, distress and subjective well-being can develop throughout time for children that are involved in divorce families (Stroksen, Roysamb, Holmen, & Tambs, 2006). Studies show that children of divorce are inclined to experience psychological difficulties than children from intact or complete families, and those effects are probably to continue into adulthood (Stroksen, Roysamb, Holmen, amp; Tambs, 2006). Conduct problems are likely to take place in this situation. Among the numerous reactions and effects of children in divorce families, conduct disorders, antisocial behaviors, and difficulty with authorities produce the largest notorious outcomes. According to a study, they are two or three times more likely to engage in adolescent delinquency than their friends from intact families, it was said that there is a higher incidence of conduct problems in boys than in girls (Stroksen, Roysamb, Holmen, & Tambs, 2006).
Adolescent children from a divorce family are also more likely to drink alcohol frequently and use prohibited drugs than children from a complete family (Stroksen, Roysamb, Holmen, & Tambs, 2006). In conclusion, divorce of one’s parents greatly impacts and disrupts the lives of these children. The psychological, emotional, and behavioral reactions results to years of distress or disorder which is likely to extend into adulthood, affecting even their romantic relationships.
Although the majority of children of divorce recover substantially after some years, that recovery does not vanish those years of significant adjustment difficulty, nor is it complete enough to leave these people unharmed (Stroksen, Roysamb, Holmen, & Tambs, 2006). On the other hand, offspring, especially adults, of divorced families tend to adopt a less positive reaction toward marriage and associate marital conflict with current relationship with a negative point of view (Portnoy, 2008).
A study conducted by the Florida State University (2010), “using a sample of two hundred and eighty five adolescents, structural equation modeling supported the hypothesis that parental divorce and marital conflict were independently associated with young adult children’s romantic relationships through different mechanisms: Parental divorce was associated with young adults’ low level of relationship quality through a negative attitude toward marriage (positive attitude toward divorce) and lack of commitment to their own current relationships.
However, marital conflict was associated with young adults’ low level of relationship quality through their conflict behavior with their partner” (Cui & Fincham, 2010, p. 331). These effects can be long lasting, leading to other symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Divorce would unnecessarily subject children to this type of emotional distress. Furthermore, as children develop into adolescents and eventually adults, they tend to adopt social behaviors that they see in their parents.
Hence, they are inclined to develop their attitude towards romantic relationships and marriage from their observations of that of their parents (Cui & Fincham, 2010). Cui and Fincham (2010) stated that there is an inverse correlation between parental divorce and attitude towards marriage, as well as commitment to relationships. This suggests the possibility that divorce can breed more divorce. Furthermore, there are certain effects of divorce on Women’s Health that could affect their psychological adjustment as well.
Studies show that women develop psychological distress after experiencing divorce. In addition, women tend to experience high level of depressive symptoms which can lead to physical and mental health problems (Lorenz, Wickrama, Conger, ; Jr. , 2006). Economically speaking, divorce has a detrimental effect on the spouse that was not gainfully employed and therefore was financially dependent during the marriage (Ananat ; Michaels, 2007). In part, this is due to what is called economies of scale. Married couples share economic and social resources during their marriage (Waite, 1995).
Since many of the costs incurred in maintaining a family household are fixed, the combined economic well-being of a married will be necessarily be better when compared to that of divorced individuals. This has far greater consequences for women than men given that women are more likely dependent on their husband’s income during marriage. Research estimates that after divorce women experience a decline in income of between 23% and 73% (Beller ; Graham, 1985). The bill does provide some post-divorce support for the dependent spouse.
This support is only required until the dependent spouse finds “adequate employment”, but it is not to exceed one year in duration (Ilagan ; De Jesus, 2010). However, the ambiguity in the language of the bill when it refers to the employment requirement to be “adequate”, coupled with the time limitation on the spousal support makes this provision inadequate, as it fails to protect the post-divorce economic well-being of the dependent spouse. Divorce is a major societal concern, and society does not escape the devastating effects.
The social effects of divorce are very well documented. Research suggests that there is a positive correlation between divorce and crime (Wong, 2011). Wong (2011) argues that children from single-parent and divorced families have a higher predisposition towards criminal activity than those from intact families. Other studies suggest that adult males are less likely to commit crimes when they are married (Scafidi, 2008). There are several reasons that could be discussed on how family disruption, because of divorce, can be positively correlated to crime.
Due to minimal supervision of parent/s and lack of parental guidance, their child could possibly be influenced or inclined to crime. Research suggests there is a positive correlation between divorce and crime. According to a British Crime Survey in 1982, it was measured that family disruption as a combined index of marital separation, divorce, and single-parenthood, and they found that family disruption amplified the rates of robbery, stranger violence, burglary, auto-theft, and theft/vandalism (Wong, 2011).
Aside from the stated reasons, there are also certain effects on social disorganization because of family disruption. According to Wong’s (2011) social disorganization theory, the theoretical model here claims that poverty, mobility, and heterogeneity increase the prospect of divorce, single-parenthood, and crime (Wong, 2011). Focusing on low income and unemployed males may reduce the number of marriageable males and escalate the likelihood of family disruption (Wong, 2011).
Concerning the influence of poverty on crime, poverty depletes the community’s resources, reduces its capacity to meet its members’ basic needs, and reduces its ability to monitor and control criminal activities, therefore eventually causing crime and delinquency to increase (Wong, 2011). Aside from the already mentioned “social costs”, divorce imposes an economic burden on society as well. The direct costs to the government include all divorce court related expenditures.
This includes not only the cost of the judge, but also that of his staff and other employees, utilities costs, records costs, along with other expenditures (Schramm, 2006). When calculating these costs we must not only take into consideration the costs of the divorce proceeding itself, but also other related proceeding, such as those for alimony, child support, and child custody (Schramm, 2006). The higher crime rates associated with family fragmentation increase the costs of the criminal justice system (Scafidi, 2008). This includes the costs to law enforcement, prosecution, the judiciary, and corrections.
Scafidi (2008) found that approximately 24% of is caused by family fragmentation. The cost of investigating and prosecuting these crimes amounts to almost ? 800 billion (Scafidi, 2008). Other costs include those associated with loss of productivity, foregone tax revenues, assistance to fragmented family who fall under the poverty line, and increased health expenditures to deal with psychological effects, just to name a few (Scafidi, 2008). In countries like the United States, to total costs associated with divorce and fragmented families exceeds $100 billion every year (Scafidi, 2008).
There is probably no completely accurate or even scientific approach for determining the economic impact to couples, comminutes, and even society as a whole. From what we can calculate, the empirical data suggest that the costs are substantial (Scafidi, 2008). These costs are real and someone must pay the price. Schramm (2006) suggests that these costs are absorbed by individuals, as well as communities, and governments. The Philippines is a mostly Christian nation with a substantial Catholic community.
As the religion of the majority of Filipinos, the point of view of the Church should not be overlooked. From the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to Pope Benedict XVI himself, the Church has been very vocal and adamantly opposed to this bill. In a letter from His Holiness addressing the CBCP, the Pope instructed the bishops to continue their pursuit in defense of the “sacredness of marriage and of the family” (Aquino, 2011). Jo Imbong, legal counsel for the CBCP, even expressed the Church’s position claiming the legislation is unconstitutional (Alvarez, 2011).
Article XV of the 1987 Constitution describes marriage as an “inviolable social institution” (Constitutional Commission, 1986). Those who oppose their position say that divorce is not only constitutional, but it promotes public policy as well (Gloria, 2007). Gloria (2007) suggest that the bill embodies the spirit of the constitution by promoting the sanctity of the family, dignity of human life, the protection of the youth, and equality among men and women. On the other hand, divorce gives a wider path for immorality and infidelity. In my opinion, morality in the contemporary is fleeing.
It is neither commonly discussed nor practiced anymore in this country except for religious sectors. I could cite several incidents regarding the immorality of Filipinos but it would be off topic. Nevertheless, The Philippines have a low moral degradation and this is the reason why these proponents with regard to divorce advocate unreasonable solution for certain problems. Didn’t we learn from the United States? Did the statistics of violence against women drop when the divorce law was implemented? According to the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS) about 1. million women are physically abused and/or raped by their husband yearly (MINCAVA, 2010). On the worse part, in 2000, 1,247 women were killed by their husbands, while 440 men were killed by their wives (MINCAVA, 2010). More or less these domesticated incidents are inevitable, they are ought to happen because let us face it the absence of goodness keeps taking place. What I am coming to is that, physical abuse, rape and even murder happen annually regardless of the divorce law. Divorce is just another way for couples to resort because that’s what the government wants; they want us to depend on them.
We are often too dependent that we forget about problem solving and thinking critically. We talk much about the positive effects that we can get from the divorce law, whereas obviously the negative effects far outweigh the positive. References Alvarez, K. (2011, June 2). Divorce bill ‘unconstitutional’. Retrieved September 19, 2012, from Sun Star Manila: http://www. sunstar. com. ph/manila/local-news/2011/06/02/divorce-bill-unconstitutional-158847 Ananat, E. O. , & Michaels, G. (2007, April). The Effect of Marital Breakup on the Income Distribution.
CEP Discussion Paper No 787. London: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics. Aquino, L. G. (2011, July 9). Pope: No to RH, divorce. Retrieved September 19, 2012, from The Manila Bulletin: http://www. mb. com. ph/node/326152/pope-no-rh-divorce Beller, A. H. , & Graham, J. W. (1985). Variations in the Economic Well-Being of Divorced Women and Their Children: The Role of Child Support Income. In M. David, & T. Smeeding, Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being (pp. 471-510). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Constitutional Commission. (1986, October 15). The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. Quezon City: Constitutional Commission of 1986. Cui, M. , & Fincham, F. D. (2010). The differential effects of parental divorce and marital conflict on young adult romantic relationships. Journal of the International Association for Relationship Research(17), 331-343. Gloria, C. K. (2007). Who Needs Divorce in the Philippines? Mindanao Law Journal, 18-28. Ilagan, L. C. , & De Jesus, E. A. (2010, July 27). House Bill No. 1799. An Act Introducing Divorce In The