Title

INTEREST IN MARITAL RECONCILIATION AMONGDIVORCING PARENTS

Keywords

divorce; reconciliation; attachment; marriage; gender; court

Abstract

This study offers the first research data on the interest of divorcing parents in marital reconciliation. A sample of 2,484 divorcing parents was surveyed after taking required parenting classes. They were asked about whether they believed their marriage could still be saved with hard work, and about their interest in reconciliation services. About 1 in 4 individual parents indicated some belief that their marriage could still be saved, and in about 1 in 9 matched couples both partners did. As for interest in reconciliation services, about 3 in 10 individuals indicated potential interest. In a sub-sample of 329 matched couples, about 1 in 3 couples had one partner interested but not the other, and in 1 in 10 couples both partners were interested in reconciliation services. Findings were consistent across most demographic and marital factors. The only strong predictors of reconciliation interest were gender, with males being more interested than females, and initiator status, with far greater interest among those whose partner initiated the divorce. These findings are discussed in terms of attachment theory and future prospects of divorce services.

Original Publication Citation

Doherty, W. J., Willoughby, B. J. & Peterson, B. (2011) Interest in marriage reconciliation among divorcing parents. Family Court Review, 49, 313-321.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2011-04-06

Publisher

Family Court Review

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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