Marital Relations Of Couples In Poverty

1718 words - 7 pages

Divorce is the legal separation of a married couple most often caused by unhappiness and distrust between the two spouses. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor and lacking money, goods and support. In this paper I will be discussing the impact of low-income couples and how income, specifically in the poverty range, will affect the rates of divorce. Studies show that families in poverty are more likely to get a divorce because of the psychological stress. The goal of this paper is to discover whether economic hardships are a cause for divorce or rather a glue that will keep a couple together because the gains of staying together outweigh the costs of separating. Divorce is expensive and the standard of living is shown to decrease after divorce because of a shift from a two parent income to a single parent income. However, in many cases the benefits of separating outweigh the costs, such as a lower psychological stress and a happier life. I will be looking into the benefits of having a divorce while in poverty and the reasons why couples may stay together, such as living standards and children.
Poverty is the state of being poor, in which one lacks the minimum food and shelter necessary for maintaining life. Poverty is determined by a poverty threshold issued each year by the Census Bureau in the United States, updated annually for inflation. The poverty threshold is described as “a minimum income level below which a person is officially considered to lack adequate subsistence and to be living in poverty” (American Heritage 2000). In 2010, a total of 15.1% of all people living in the United States were considered poor, the highest poverty rate since 1993. More than 16 million children or 22% of all children in the United States live in families with incomes below the poverty level (National Center 2014). Families in poverty are more likely to experience illness, depression, eviction and unemployment and parents who experience hard economic times may become emotionally unstable, leading to insults and threats and stress between the family. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotion and behavioral problems, poor health and mental health. Children who experience poverty when they are young are more likely to experience deep and persistent poverty (National Center 2014).
Marriage and divorce are both common. More than 90 of people marry by the age of 50. Healthy marriages are good, however, “at the end of the 20th century, 43%-46% of marriages were predicted to end in dissolution” (Amato 2010:650). Families in poverty may consider getting a divorce because of stress caused by financial problems. Divorce happens when “parents becoming increasingly disengaged from one another emotionally, and each partner’s marital happiness declines. Eventually, one or both partners decide that the marriage has eroded to a point where it cannot be salvaged. As a result, one partner, often with consent of the other, files...

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