Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Divorce in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Amy C. WagnerEmail author
  • Rachel M. Diamond
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_448


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...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.University of Saint JosephWest HartfordUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA