Meaning And Definition Of Divorce: Causes And Effects

Table Of Contents

  • What Is Divorce?
  • Stages Of Divorce
  • Causes Of Divorce
  • Effects Of Divorce

Meaning And Nature Of Divorce

What Is Divorce?

Divorce is the dissolution of marriage. This dissolution can come through the customary institutions or statutorily. Divorce is a strong stage of marriage termination. Divorce is viewed as an index of disassociation and considered to be failure of the individuals to forge ahead in a marital relationship. In virtually all society, divorce changes the status of the individuals involved. It is more negatively viewd on the side of the woman than man, even though it is generally seen as an ill wind that blows no one any good. It greatly destroys the character of the woman.

The acceptance and rejection of divorce varies from society to society. Also most religious sets make divorce difficult. Divorce is easy in Moslem religion than Christian religion.

Stages Of Divorce

Divorce undergoes some processes in the society. The process of divorce can be categorized into six stages which are the emotional divorce, legal divorce, economic divorce, co-parental divorce, community divorce and psychic divorce.

1. Emotional divorce looks at the situation where the marriage is starting to fall apart due to the changing attitude of the spouses. This could be as a result of the amount invested in the marriage in terms of finance, commitment, energy and love.

2. Legal divorce has to do with the way a person can legitimately divorce his or her partner. Legal divorce can be obtained statutorily or customarily which gives the partners the chance to re-marry. Divorce by customary law in Nigeria includes refund of bride wealth irrespective of the person that asked for it.

3. Economic divorce entails how the properties are shared between the spouses. Cognizance is taken mostly on the economic position of the spouses.

4. Co-parental divorce has to do with how the couple divide thei children. It is a stage that has to do with how the children will be shared among the partners. This varies from society to society. For instance, in Nigeria, the man is always allowed the custody of the children if divorce results whereas it is not like that in the western societies.

5. Community divorce has to do with the community’s reaction towards that, and the consequences to the couple thereof. This is done to the fact that most societies easily welcome divorce which makes the people to always call for it. For them, it is not strongly viewed as a social problem.

6. In the Psychic or Psychological divorce, the individuals involved have to mentally decided and accept the fact that they are divorced. It is clear that if children are involved, it will be impossible for the couple to be out completely of each other’s life, though they may not need the other’s assistance.

Causes Of Divorce

1. Infidelity

This is one of the cause of divorce in the society. Unfaithfulness has led to the breakdown of so many homes in our contemporary society. Most people in their marital home are always unfaithful to their loved one. In most times, infidelity could be as a result of weakness on either of the sexes, high libido, economic hardship etc. In effect, infidelity has greater negative effect to the family and the society in general.

2. Desertation Or Abandonment

The abandonment by either of the couple greatly leads to divorce. It is not advisable for a partner to leave the other for so long or even fail to perform his or her marital obligations. Researches have shown that there is high rate of divorce among couples that live far from one another compared to those that live together. Desertation or abandonment should be avoided to enhance peaceful marital relationship.

3. Infertility

The major cause of divorce in our societies nowadays is infertility on the side of the woman or impotenc and sterility on the part of the man. This situation brings about failure of the marriage to be blessed with children. By this condition, a woman is unable to conceive while the man in the other way round is unable to achieve erection which reduces his chances of procreation.

4. Incompatibility Of The Couple

The incompatibility on character or irreconcilable difference in behaviour in no small measure leads to divorce. The psychological disposition of a person can greatly affect his/her marital relationship. This incompatibility or behaviour could be as a result of family orientation, educational attainment together with varied economic background of the couple. This incompatibility in most times lead to gross neglect or creulty by one of the parties.

5. Health Problems

The health condition of the spouses in most time affects the union. There is likely need of divorce in a situation where one of the parties is suffering from a serious and possibly incurable disease such as insanity or epilepsy. It is only few cases that either of the spouses can withstand such ugly situation.

6. Marital Strain And Stress

The hassles associated with marital life in most time lead to divorce. This is quite prevalent in African societies where large family size and extended family system are allowed. There are always the strains and stress of coping with large family size especially in difficult periods.

7. External Influence

External influences add pressure to marital relationship which mostly leads to divorce. This influence comes as a result of interference of relatives and in-laws. Extended families are not supposed to control and dominate the affairs of young home. They always put a marriage in disarray due to their undue influence and ill advice to either of the spouses.

Effects Of Divorce

1. Broken Home

Divorce leads to broken home. This is because the couple will now be separated. By that fact, the future of the children out of that relationship is undermined. The children will not live together with both parents. Rather they are shared among the parents. This makes the children lack good parental upbringing.

2. Improper Socialization

The children in a broken home lack the necessary socialization ingredients found in united homes. The home (family) is the first and primary agent of socialization. It is the first point of contact of a childe who grows to be responsible citizen in the society. Without parental guidance and protection, the children will not be adequately trained and by so doing may not be opportuned to enjoy the basic necessities of life.

3. Prostitution And Illegitimate Children

Divorce leads to prostitution and even the production of illegitimate children in the society. In most times, the women who left their marital homes as a result of divorce do engage in prostitution to eke out a living. Due to harsh economic condition, they resort to all source of vices to cater for the children under their care. Through prostitution, they produce illegitimate children in the society. These children are seen as illegal and fatherless children.

4. Psychological Needs And Problems

The family plays the role of providing its members with their psychological needs by giving them sense of belonging and happiness. Both parents have the responsibility of guiding and directing the children the breakdown of the homes separates the spouses thereby depriving the children strong emotional care.

5. Problem Of Succession And Inheritance

There is the problem of succession and inheritance that exist in divorced homes. The spouses are always in the state of confusion in terms of property sharing. Apart from that, there is also every tendency that the separated spouses may marry and beget children in the new homes. By that fact, there is always the problem of where the new children claim their inheritance.

Suggested Posts: