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Diane Sollee, Director
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Contact: Mike McManus, Director, 301 469-5870, 301-910-9311 cell
POTOMAC, Maryland, April 15, 2008 -- Marriage Savers, which has worked with
10,000 clergy in 222 cities to cut divorce rates, announces the creation of
www.ReformDivorce.org website to motivate those hurt by divorce - to fight
for two Divorce Reforms that could slash America's divorce rate in half.
"There are 30 million adult children of divorce who were shattered by their
parents divorce, and another 24 million who suffered a divorce they did not
want. Most view divorce as a personal issue, but in a larger sense No Fault
Divorce, a law first signed in California in 1969 by then Gov. Ronald
Reagan, has been the biggest killer of marriage in America. It swept the
nation in the 1970s, pushing divorces up from 708,000 in 1970 to 1,036,000
five years later.
"The major reason why America has the world's highest divorce rate is that
one spouse can unilaterally divorce another," says Mike McManus, President
and Co-Founder of Marriage Savers with his wife, Harriet. "Research reports
that in four out of five cases, one spouse did not want the divorce, but had
no choice. No-Fault Divorce should be called Unilateral Divorce. "
However, there are two reforms which state legislatures could pass that
could spare 500,000 kids a year from seeing their parents divorce:
1. Replace No Fault Divorce with Mutual Consent. In cases involving
children, and where no allegation is made of abuse, adultery, etc. -- states
could require that any divorce be agreed to by both husband and wife. What
was entered into by two people willingly would not be terminated unless both
agree. This reform would reduce divorce rates by 30%, estimates John Crouch,
Director of Americans for Divorce Reform.
2. Replace Sole Custody with Joint Custody or Shared Parenting in which
both parents would have access to their children about a third of each week.
Of six states which passed the strongest Joint Custody laws, five also
enjoyed the largest drop in the divorce rate: Montana, Kansas, Connecticut,
Idaho and Alaska. Why? "If a parent knows they will have to interact with
the other child's parents while the child is growing up, there is less
incentive to divorce," says David L. Levy, CEO of Children's Rights Council.
He and Crouch estimate this reform could cut divorce by another 20%.
Marriage Savers hopes its new website,
, will mobilize
thousands of those harmed by divorce to become activists, urging their state
legislatures to pass these reforms that could prevent 500,000 children a
year from the shattering experience of watching their parents divorce.
Michael J. McManus
Diane Sollee, Director
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