I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Marriage benefits us all

Rebecca Walberg and Andrea Mrozek,

National Post, Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Too many Canadians know firsthand the emotional toll of family breakdown. And few would dispute there's a financial cost, too; a split household means paying rent twice, for example. There's also a public toll as a consequence of family breakdown, since the state often pays out benefits to help support broken families. It's this national financial burden that we aim to measure in the Cost of Family Breakdown in Canada, a report to be released in May, 2009.

Families headed by single mothers are at least four times more likely to be poor than those made up of a married couple and their children. When children are raised by single parents, they are more likely to be poor, and their families are more likely to rely upon public assistance programs for housing, child care and money for food, clothes and medication.

In 1960, fewer than one in 10 households were made up of single parents or common-law couples; today, that number is one in three. Yet instead of bemoaning this breakdown of marriage, our society tends to applaud it, saying

"live and let live." The irony is that raising kids outside marriage actually makes a laissez-faire live and let live lifestyle less achievable -- because it increases the need for costly social programs, all of which amount to interventions in private family life.

A U. S. study last year determined that $140-billion in public spending could be saved if all children lived with their own married parents. In the U. K., the extra costs to the taxpayer of poverty in single-parent households were measured at $66-billion, equal to more than 6% of total government spending. (These numbers are conservative estimates because they look only at the direct costs of poverty-relief and social programs, and don't take into consideration the better health and educational outcomes linked with intact families.) Although no similar study has been done in Canada, we can expect that the results here would be similar.

A marriage is a private relationship, but it is also a public institution. Strong marriages are public goods because they generate social capital from which we all benefit. Marriage makes families less likely to turn to the government for financial assistance, either directly through welfare, or, less directly, in the form of housing and day care subsidies.

All children deserve to grow up in a household with their own married parents. Supporting strong families is the right thing to do; it's also the financially responsible choice, for individual families and for Canada as a whole.


Rebecca Walberg is a Winnipeg-based policy analyst and writer. Andrea Mrozek is manager of research at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. They are the authors of The Cost of Family Breakdown in Canada, to be published in May.

© 2009 The National Post Company. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

This article is terrible. Marriage does not benefit those suffering from abuse.

Michael J. Murphy said...

I don't believe that was the articles intention. All studies point to the family unit as being the most stable for all parties.

If abuse is present that destabilizes the unit and all bets are off unless we had a proactive system in place to deal with it as a family problem not a single gender issue. Intimate Partner Violence is pretty much equal between genders but men only report to the police about 10% of the time. I have never reported the abuse I received to the police.

What if a system was in place that upon abuse occurring a family member could seek help and then bring the other members into counselling, including children because they are very impacted by observing parental anger toward each other whether it be verbal or physical.