Divorce in Couple and Family Therapy
Marital and/or Relationship Dissolution and/or Termination
Issues related to divorce in couple and family therapy are often challenging and complex and are increasingly common presenting problems for clients. According to a national survey, the divorce rate remains around 50 % (Copen et al. 2012). Indeed, a legally married, two-parent household with children is no longer representative of the typical American family.
Theoretical Context for Concept
Divorce and the transitions and reorganization of family structure that follows have become a normative experience. In the United States, the term “divorce” is used to refer to the termination of legal marriages, but it can also apply to the dissolution of long-term committed relationships. This is of particular importance as more couples are deciding to cohabitate as an alternative to marriage, not as a precursor to it (Cherlin 2004). Therefore, while the legal aspects of divorce are unique to marriages, the...
- Clarke-Stewart, A., & Brentano, C. (2006). Divorce: Causes and consequences. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Copen, C. E., Daniels, K., Vespa, J., & Mosher, W. D. (2012). First marriages in the United States: Data from 2006–2010 national survey of family growth. In National health statistics reports (Vol. 49, pp. 1–22). Hyattsville: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
- Cummings, E. M., George, M. W., McCoy, K. P., & Davies, P. T. (2012). Interparental conflict in kindergarten and adolescent adjustment: Prospective investigation of emotional security as an explanatory mechanism. Child Development, 83(5), 1703–1715. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01807.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Hetherington, E. M., Bridges, M., & Insabella, G. M. (1998). What matters? What does not? Five perspectives on the association between marital transitions and children’s adjustment. American Psychologist, 53, 167–184. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.53.2.167.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Lebow, J. L. (2015). Separation and divorce issues in couple therapy. In A. S. Gurman, J. L. Lebow, & D. K. Snyder (Eds.), Clinical handbook of couple therapy (5th ed., pp. 445–463). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Simons, R. L., Lin, K. H., Gordon, L. C., Conger, R. D., & Lorenz, F. O. (1999). Explaining the higher incidence of adjustment problems among children of divorce compared with those in two-parent families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 1020–1033. https://doi.org/10.2307/354021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wagner, A. C., & Diamond, R. M. (2017). Families and divorce. In S. Browning & B. Van Eeden-Morrhead (Eds.), Contemporary families: At the nexus of research and practice. New York: Routledge Press.Google Scholar