Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Clarification on Divorce

July 24th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Due to some less-than-stellar writing on our parts, we attracted some mystified “huhs?” regarding yesterday’s post on arranged-marriage divorce rates versus those for “love” marriages. That admittedly confusing post, in turn, referred back to a concept we mentioned about two months back: what we’ve termed the natural rate of divorce.

Okay, let’s slow down and explain what we mean here. By “natural rate of divorce,” we’re asserting that mankind must accept that a certain percentage of marriages are better off ending then limping along for decades. Human beings make mistakes, and though marriage is supposedly forever, it’s ludicrous to expect folks to stay in partnerships that are detrimental to their well-being. In other words, let’s all be thankful that we live in a society where divorce isn’t completely verboten on idealistic grounds.

At the same time, policymakers shouldn’t make divorce too easy of a process. Reconciliations happen, people change, and splits can obviously wreak havoc on children and extended families. So as we see it, the law must be finely tuned so that it provides an out for the desperate, but doesn’t create too much familiar instability.

To cobble together such laws, then, we must have an idea of what percent of marriages should end in divorce—that “natural rate” to which we’ve referred. And based on our analysis of divorce rates from nations with both unusually permissive and unusually strict matrimonial laws, our guess is that somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of marriages should be terminated, for the benefit of the maximum number of people involved in the arrangements.

What say you? Is that too low a figure? Too high? Microkhan’s expertise is more invasion than matrimony, so we’re definitely open to learned quibbles here.

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