Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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State's efforts to curb divorce, not a silver bullet

Divorce rates are common statistics policy makers point to when discussing poverty, broken homes and the deterioration of the American family. As such, it should come as no surprise that multiple states have invested millions of dollars to try and avoid these marital splits. Unfortunately, it appears that these efforts to mitigate divorce have not been a giant success.

For example, Oklahoma spent upwards of $70 million in programs that provided counseling, and support for couples whose relationship was in trouble. Nonetheless, a decade after the program was put in place, the state's divorce rates are up slightly. Minnesota, for its part, has also initiated some economic incentives for couples that go through premarital counseling.

Its success rate, however, is not readily available. While the numbers seem to contradict the efforts, the ability of divorce rates to hold firm is not a great surprise. Some couples will always decide that they were not meant to be. This does not mean, however, that the efforts by the States were in vain. They certainly helped some individual couples even if the macro statistics did not come out positive.

This is the message when it comes to divorce. Divorce is an individual decision based on unique circumstances. Those considering a divorce must consider the consequences of child support, alimony, property division and retirement.

Local St. Paul attorneys have decades of experience helping individuals work through these issues and setting up divorced individuals for success after a split. Not only is it valuable to have an advocate on your side, it is also makes the process easier when you have a person to help navigate the legal waters.

Source: Christianity Today, "Longest State Effort to Save Marriage Fails to Reduce Divorce," Sarah Zylstra, Dec. 9, 2013

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