By: Makenna Percy
Why is it so easy to get a divorce? Has it always been this way? What does its feel like to go through one? I can show all there is to know about divorce, but it won’t be a pretty picture.
According to Professor Joe Jardine, in the mid century (1940-1950), every state except Nevada did not legally allow divorce. To even get the divorce there had to be a “fault” in which means someone would have to admit their wrongs(adultery, abuse, etc.) During this time period married woman could not hang around single woman. Since it was socially unacceptable to be divorced whether you were a woman or a man, you would be ostracized, or an outcast from society. Therefore, it was extremely unpopular to divorce.
Now, every state in the USA legally allows divorce. Most states, such as California, don’t need a “fault” to get a divorce. In the 2010 consensus, facebook was the common cause of divorce because it was easier to connect with people and have an affair emotionally and later physically. Orange County had the highest divorce rate in the country, at 73%. For the first time ever recorded, the number one reason of divorce was not because of affairs, but because of “exasperation.” “Exasperation” is a fancy term meaning that one partner was too emotional and annoying to the point they couldn’t stand each other anymore. The current legal cost to get a divorce is $600, but that’s if no further costs are needed.
“Divorce isn’t good for anyone, especially, the children,” said Joe Jardine, a psychology professor at Vanguard University.
DISCLAIMER: This is an opinionated and biased experience through the author's perspective. Not everyone’s experience is similar, but this gives a small idea of a difficult divorce.
My parents divorced when I was 12 year old, in 7th grade. To be honest I saw it coming a mile away, but I did not expect the results of the divorce to be so brutal. My parents argued loud and too often to count. I thought it was normal for the longest time. “They were unproductive. If normal means that an argument leads to some kind of resolution; I don’t think our arguments ever resolved,” said Phillip Percy, father of Makenna Percy.
They did try to hold it together for approximately 24 years. “We went to many marriage counselors. I would even go by myself hoping she would join me,” said Phillip Percy.
However, you could tell their marriage was deteriorating one thread at a time, but then suddenly the threads began to be cut faster. My mom and I took a christmas vacation in Tennessee to visit my half sister and her family. During this vacation my mom and dad argued on the phone. When we got home I couldn’t wait to see my dad, sister, and the pets, but sadly I only got to see my sister for a short amount of time.
My mom decided to take me with her to a domestic violence shelter. The whole time I was confused and I cried almost every night. We would move to another shelter because they kicked us out for different reasons, not that we did anything bad. My mother attempted to serve my dad separation papers, but then my dad served her divorce papers before she could.
My mom accused my dad of being “verbally abusive” and apparently over 10 years of verbal abuse is considered domestic abuse. “She would have a hard time with me disagreeing with her,” said Phillip Percy. “She would often use that word abuse and it wasn’t true. I never verbally abused her. I would defend myself when she said false things about me. I was very careful not to raise my voice if I could help it.”
I don’t think he was what she claimed. However, I did believe her at the time because I was only getting one end of the story. My dad on the other hand accused my mom of being mentally unstable. Both of these claims have no real evidence that is known to me. In 6th grade, I wrote a diary that said many things about my parents. My dad thought he was doing the “right thing” when he signed the divorce papers because of this diary. Not that this divorce was my fault, but I did have a small part in the decision, unintentionally. He kept this diary as a “last resort” to prove certain things to win custody rights.
My parents fought to the bitter end in this divorce and they only recently in the year 2015 resolved the custody rights. I think my parents are much happier now compared to before, but in a way I’m still suffering. I moved from place to place throughout this divorce, constantly. I have to go back and forth between parents and I have two addresses that I still haven’t memorized. I also feel like I have to emotionally support my parents. Whenever they complain about each other to me I feel like a people pleaser because I agree with them to keep the peace, even though I usually don’t care. They are both my parents and I love them equally, but seriously, I can’t wait till I’m 18.
Not everyone’s experience was like mine. In the anonymous survey given to all students and teachers of Samueli Academy, 38 students replied. The statistics suggest out of every 15 students and/or faculty of Samueli Academy 4 have experienced divorce through their parents and/or themselves. The age the divorce started ranges from infancy to 16. The shortest time these divorces have lasted was 3 months and the longest was 4 years.
Here’s a few quotes from these people of Samueli Academy about how they felt about the experience. “I didn't get sad about it until I got older. It was stressful and sometimes it still is,” wrote someone from Samueli Academy.
Some people didn’t feel it “affected them” because they were adopted or “could care less” in general.
“I was too young to even understand what was going on. When I got older and realized it was a divorce it had no effect on me, because I only had one parent and would go see the other side of my family all the time,” wrote someone else from Samueli Academy.
Divorce it a difficult concept to swallow, but it is increasing due to accessibility. There may be or may not be a solution to this problem. As the future adults of America, wait, and don’t rush to find the love of your life.
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