Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage.
Rising divorce rates are generally considered to be a social problem when they occur, as divorce is usually a somewhat traumatic event for all family members, and typically has an especially negative effect on the well-being of any children in the family.
In the United States, divorce rates went up sharply from approximately 1960 to approximately 1980, possibly in response to the spread of no-fault divorce laws. These laws are generally seen as being promoted by liberal, and hence conservatives tend to blame liberals for the consequent increase in divorces.
The number of children involved in divorces (per capita) was already rising before 1960, however, and rates began declining again in approximately 1992 and as of 2001 had returned to approximately 1971 levels. (More recent data is needed.)
- /data: US divorce rates since 1950 (need more data!)
- Americans for Divorce Reform: Divorce Rates - Divorce Statistics Collection
- Americans for Divorce Reform appears to be a somewhat conservative organization arguing that divorce should be more difficult to obtain. Their argument should be examined in more detail. (If divorce is harder to get, won't people be less likely to get married in the first place?)