Family related news included an in-depth look at current divorce statistics and a progressive move by the Vatican to allow same-sex couples to be blessed. Also at the top of the news were two clarions calls: one to see divorce as a time to heal and start again, rather than a failure; and another to recognize a pet as a beloved family member whose fate should be carefully considered in a divorce proceeding.
Nicole Winfield and David Crary, AP News, December 19 2023
Pope Francis formally approved letting Catholic priests bless same-sex couples, a radical shift in policy that aimed at making the church more inclusive while maintaining its strict ban on gay marriage. But while the Vatican statement was heralded by some as a step toward breaking down discrimination in the Catholic Church, some LGBTQ+ advocates warned it underscored the church’s idea that gay couples remain inferior to heterosexual partnerships.
Alan Feigenbaum and Ariella Steinhorn, The Boston Globe, Updated December 27, 2023
The author notes that American culture paints divorce as a stress-inducing visceral life event that demands tough litigation and, if we’re on the outside looking in on another couple’s split, choosing sides. Then he asks: “So how do we shift from the idea that divorce is a fundamental failure and embrace the notion that it is, instead, an opportunity for healing, reclaiming power, and regaining freedom?”
Emily Dugan, The Guardian, January 1, 2024
The start of the new year is often boom time for divorce lawyers, but 2024 may be different as new research in the UK shows the cost of living crisis has delayed more than 270,000 couples from splitting. Financial pressures delayed 19% of divorces, researchers at Legal & General found. The impact has been particularly pronounced since 2020, with income concerns, cost of living pressures and the price of divorce all cited as reasons to postpone the split.
Christy Bieber, J.D., Forbes, January 8, 2024
Far more people get married over the course of each year than get divorced. Couples report many different reasons for ending a marital relationship. This article does a deep dive into the rate and reasons for divorce.
Patricia Fersch, Forbes, January 15, 2024
Only eight states consider the pet’s wellbeing or best interest in a determination as to joint or sole ownership of the pet after divorce. The author argues that pets are not pieces of furniture or lamps to be divided based on cost or value or who paid for it. They are important and very special members of the families to which they belong. They deserve to be treated as such in every state.