Title

Recent Government Reforms Related to Marital Formation, Maintenance, and Dissolution in the United States: A Primer and Critical Review

Keywords

couple education, divorce, family policy, marriage

Abstract

In this manuscript, we provide a sampling of law and policy reforms over the past decade intended to help couples form and sustain healthy marriages and set out the rationale employed to justify these initiatives. Then we turn to the challenging task of evaluating whether these initiatives are likely to bear fruit, acknowledging three primary critiques. In the end, we see governmental efforts to strengthen the institution of marriage as legitimate, although we raise several nontrivial concerns with implications for future directions. To predict that these initiatives will have a significant impact on the institution of marriage requires a strong belief in the power of educational intervention and a substantial expansion of public support that spurs efforts in the private sector.

Original Publication Citation

Hawkins, A. J., Wilson, R. F., Ooms, T., Nock, S. L., Malone-Colon, L., & Cohen, L. (2009). Recent government reforms related to marital formation, maintenance, and dissolution in the United States: A primer and critical review. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 8, 264-281.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2009-08-12

Publisher

Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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