The Crossroads of Divorce: A Nationwide Survey of Statutes Affecting Reconciliation Efforts


With divorce being so common, the merits and effectiveness of reconciliation are of concern. Reconciliation efforts appear, for the most part, ineffective and unsought. This paper focuses on reviewing reconciliation-focused statutes surrounding the divorce process to discover what helps are available to struggling couples. Recommendations are given which would bring reconciliation resources and options to the forefront sooner in the divorce process in order to increase their effectiveness and people’s receptivity of them. It is hoped that these changes can help preserve and strengthen marriages. Future research needed in the area is suggested.

I. Introduction

Have you ever become lost while driving in unfamiliar territory? If so, you know the feelings of uncertainty that come each time you come to an intersection and must choose a path. Uncertainty haunts you even as you continue down a road you thought was the correct one, but as you continue down it, now you are not so sure. In situations like these, road signs and maps are helpful.

For couples undergoing marital difficulty, the situation can be similar. The territory is unfamiliar. Feelings of uncertainty are present as you try to choose the correct path but are not sure if it will really lead you to your desired destination. You are at a crossroads. Sometimes couples get on the road to divorce unwittingly and aren’t sure if they want to be on it. How do they get back on the road to marital harmony? Are there any roadmaps or signs? The road to divorce seems like the correct road because it is busy and so many people are traveling on it. However, if they don’t stop soon, before they know it (and it does happen quickly) some find themselves reading a sign that says, “Welcome to Divorce.” (more…)

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by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

Older women who have chosen since their early years to forgo lifelong relationships in pursuit of casual, non- commital sex are actually writing about it, and quite explicitly at that! Wisdom did not come with age for these grandmas, who still haven’t figured out that they made the wrong decision long ago. (more…)

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by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

Published at May 8, 2007.

The stay at home mothers of America have been taking a pounding from the literary elites. Two recent books decry the trend of educated women staying home full-time with children. Linda Hirshman exhorts women to Get to Work, while Leslie Bennetts believes she sees The Feminine Mistake and wonders “Are we giving up too much”? Both Baby Boomer professional women worry that the younger generation is making a mistake. At the very least, these authors argue, women should keep their professional skills fresh, simply as strategic protection against the risk of divorce. But if marriage is a lifelong collaboration between women and men, a good and stable marriage can help women meet both their professional and personal goals. Mothers’ Day is a good time to reflect on spousal cooperation. (more…)

by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D

A review of Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World by Linda R. Hirshman

Feminists have long preached that sex differences must be eradicated because they are merely cultural-no matter how universal, deep-seated, or persistent they may be. Given enough “choice,” they believe, women will choose the androgynous life. But this agenda has stalled in recent years, as young mothers have become increasingly willing to embrace traditional gender roles. In an effort to reverse this trend, retired law professor Linda Hirschman ignited a firestorm last year with an article in the American Prospect, which asserted that educated women who leave their professions to raise children are “leading lesser lives.” She has expanded her argument into a new book, Get to Work: A Manifesto for the Women of the World. (more…)

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Note to readers: During the last week of May 2006, I participated in an on-line debate at My opponent asked me whether I didn’t really want to ban contraception, saying, “Don’t tell me what you think is possible. Surely you have a dream.” This is my response.

Thank you for asking. As a matter of fact, I do have a dream.

I have a dream that some day, every child will be conceived from an act of true love between parents who love each other, are married to each other, and eagerly welcome him. I have a dream that every child will spend his childhood with those parents who brought him into being. Parents see the value of the small society they have created between themselves and their children, and do everything humanly possible to sustain that society. (more…)