If we seriously want men to marry and become fathers, let’s repeal no-fault divorce

I saw a very good article at the Heritage Foundation web site about the importance of fathers for children. The author Virginia Allen listed out some of the benefits that fathers provide to children:

Studies have found that children raised without a father are:

  • At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.
  • Four times more likely to live in poverty.
  • More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
  • Twice as likely to never graduate high school.
  • At a seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.
  • More vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
  • More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Twice as likely to be obese.

From education to personal health to career success, children who lack a father find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers raised in a two-parent household.

I was looking for a good analysis of why there’s been a decline of marriage and fatherhood, and I found an article by Joe Carter on far-left The Gospel Coalition, of all places. By looking at marriage rates and historical events that changed the marriage rate, he was able to identify the cause of the decline of marriage – and fatherhood.

Marriage and divorce rates per capita
Marriage and divorce rates per capita

I’ll spare you the statistical analysis, which is excellent, and give you the conclusion – although you can guess it from the graph above:

Now that we’ve explored the data, what year should we use as the marker for the beginning of the decline of marriage in the United States? I would argue for 1985, the last year that the marriage rate topped 10 percent.

[…]What changed in 1985 that could have led to the decline in marriage? There are likely numerous factors—which we’ll examine in future articles—but one stands out in particular: By 1985, all states (except for New York) had enacted no-fault divorce legislation.

The most helpful book I know of about no-fault divorce is “Taken Into Custody”, by Dr. Stephen Baskerville. He wrote a column  for Crisis magazine that summarizes some of his ideas.


Feminists were drafting no-fault divorce laws in the 1940s, which the National Association of Women Lawyers now describes as “the greatest project NAWL has ever undertaken.”

The result effectively abolished marriage as a legal contract. Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family.

The new laws did not stop at removing the requirement of citing grounds for a divorce, to allow divorce by mutual consent, as deceptively advertised at the time. Instead they created unilateral and involuntary divorce, so that one spouse may dissolve a marriage without any agreement or fault by the other.

Here’s what divorce does to the spouse who is the victim of the unilateral “no-fault” divorce:

Though marriage is a civil matter, the logic quickly extended into the criminal, including a presumption of guilt against the involuntarily divorced spouse (“defendant”). Yet formal due process protections of criminal proceedings did not apply, so forcibly divorced spouses became quasi-criminals not for recognized criminal acts but for failing or refusing to cooperate with the divorce by continuing to claim the protections and prerogatives of family life: living in the common home, possessing the common property, or—most vexing of all—parenting the common children.

Following from this are the horrendous civil liberties violations and flagrant invasions of family and individual privacy that are now routine in family courts. A personalized criminal code is legislated by the judge around the forcibly divorced spouse, controlling their association with their children, movements, and finances. Unauthorized contact with their children can be punished with arrest. Involuntarily divorced parents are arrested for running into their children in public, making unauthorized telephone calls, and sending unauthorized birthday cards.

In my conversations with men, no-fault divorce laws, and anti-male divorce courts are the main reasons given for why they do not pursue marriage and fatherhood. Men do not want to be coerced in a marriage with the threat of divorce by an unhappy wife. Men do not want to be subject to the government in so many areas of their lives if the wife does carry out the threat. They especially don’t want to be separated from their children. One my secular male friends told me that he would not marry unless the woman had evidence in her past of hating radical feminism and no-fault divorce. This was the main criteria. He actually was able to find a woman who was a men’s rights activist who hated divorce. But that was the only way he would marry.

Statistically speaking, the wife is more likely to initiate divorce than the husband. Women initiate 70% of divorces, the majority of those just because she is “unhappy”. I think this is because women get into marriage based on their feelings, and they think that it is the husband’s job to make them feel good. They see their happiness as the primary goal of the marriage, and see a marriage that does not make them happy as a marriage that needs to be ended.

Are we going to repeal no-fault divorce, then?

No-fault divorce was seen as a boon to women who had married the wrong men by following their hearts. It’s an interesting question to ask whether women really would want no-fault repealed. It would mean that they would have to get serious about who they marry, instead of just getting into marriage based on feelings. They would have to evaluate men according to expectations of what a man does in a marriage, instead of on feelings. They would have to think about what men want out of a marriage, and prepare themselves to provide for his needs. They would have to say no to their feelings, when choosing a man, and in keeping a man after the wedding.

If women aren’t willing to demand the repeal of no-fault divorce laws and get serious about men and marriage, then what’s the point of complaining that men don’t want to marry and become fathers? If you’re not willing to fix the root cause of the problem, then don’t complain about the problem.

21 thoughts on “If we seriously want men to marry and become fathers, let’s repeal no-fault divorce”

  1. If a man genuinely wants to marry and become a father, it sounds like he can do what your friend did and look for a anti-feminist, anti-divorce woman to marry (with evidence of those beliefs, whatever that might be).


      1. You don’t have to see it. The government’s job is to protect the people. Not care for their preferred love interests or making a particular type of people. They don’t need anymore power or influence.


  2. Agree with all this, and it would help, but there’s even more to it than that. Women seem only interested in the steady-Eddie type of guy when she finally figures she’s not getting a celebrity, when the hawt bad boys no longer want her, when she is unable or unwilling to pair bond, when she’s covered with tattoos and obese and loaded down with tons of debt.

    What guy wants that?

    And more to the point: what guy is flattered to be some woman’s last resort?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I cannot lead a home if I am a woman’s last resort. And she prefers other men for non-husband reasons.

      I don’t want to be settled for because your commitment ability isn’t respected.

      Especially when no-fault divorce is a likely outcome from marrying a woman who sees you as inferior to her past sexual partners.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Basically if she was living a life rebellious to God’s commands and natural law…and has shown little to no signs of repentance from it…why would she change if she marries the ‘last resort’.


  3. Women are hypergamous both in the sense of wanting better-than-merited value with respect to male-mate-qualities and wanting this (higher than merited value) for various male qualities that aren’t often found to a high-degree in any one male and often conflict with each other. E.g. they want a tall, handsome guy with a dominant personality who also has money and is resourceful and will devote those resources and himself to her only. And they want that even when they are mediocre quality themselves.

    This causes women to settle when they marry. Then they aren’t happy, it affects how they treat the husband, which in turn, affects how he treats her – leading to a relationship downward spiral – leading to divorce.

    The hugely inflated female ego resulting from the cult-of-female-self-esteem (e.g. obese girls actually think they’re gorgeous and hot when they dress skimpy with their fat rolls spilling out) makes all this even worse.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “when she is unable or unwilling to pair bond, when she’s covered with tattoos and obese and loaded down with tons of debt.”

    And, increasingly, when she has another guys children.

    I see this a lot – women who had no use for religion suddenly become Christians – often when they are looking for a beta-male chump after years of poor decision making. Church is for getting a beta male to help with another man’s kids and help pay the bills.

    No thanks.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yeah, I left out the kid thing, and you’re absolutely correct. You weren’t good enough for the women at their best, but you’re good enough to be the walking ATM for her and her kids.

      I’ll pass on that too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agre, except I think ANY premarital sex with ANY guy other than the one she marries sends that same message. I don’t want to be anyone’s second choice.

        Maybe we need to do a better job of teaching YOUNG women what makes a good man?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The issue is what you constitute as a “good man” is not what today’s culture and especially young women (younger people in general) see as a “good man”. When you say you want to lead, they see controlling. When you say you want the final decision, they see inequality. Are they wrong? To some extent no because leading does involve control. It’s all a matter of perspective. Some people want that and some don’t. You say frugal and ‘marriage minded’ and they see boring. So how can you best sell a controlling, unequal, and boring marriage? Unfortunately if your product doesn’t look appealing and is not necessary for daily living (women are no longer tied financially to men), the demand for your product from the population you seek won’t be what you want it to be.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s so strange, because when I go to the auto mechanic, or the dentist, or the doctor, I am there to get the benefit of their knowledge. I follow their instructions. Why be uncomfortable with leadership if the person has the achievements that show that they know what they are talking about?


  5. While the church has gained significant supreme court victories in relation to freedom of religion I don’t see anytime soon that either abortion or no fault divorce will be reformed legally in the courts. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic but I wouldn’t hold my breath in repealing no-fault divorce. That said, what is impossible for humans is possible for God.


    1. They don’t care, because they don’t see any way that women might be tempted to filter what the Bible says through the lens of their own feelings. Instead, they let the women make feelings decisions, and adopt the cultures feminism, and they turn to men and demand that we continue to perform as before the changes were made.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve used this analogy regarding no-fault divorce before:

    Imagine you’re taking a trip to Las Vegas with your entire life savings. You have options on what to spend your money on, gambling at casinos being one of them. While there certainly is the possibility that heavy wins could greatly increase your wealth, the house has a guaranteed take and there is a much greater possibility that you will lose more money than you make.

    However, you a receive a phone call from your filthy rich grandfather. He tells you, “You’re my favorite grandchild and I want you to have fun in Vegas. Don’t worry about how you spend your money. I’ll give you a complete and total refund of any money you lose, even if you lose every penny you have.”

    Now, do you think you’re going to be more or less careful about how you spend your money after receiving such an offer?

    Obviously, such a scenario leaves the gambler with zero incentive not to take risks, and this is essentially the position modern women are in given no fault divorce laws. They have no incentive to vet potential marriage partners and choose their childrens’ father wisely since the government will effectively reimburse them entirely if they become dissatisfied in their marriage, at the husbands expense mind you.

    Even churches are unfortunately doing this. I’ve been to churches where women are divorcing their husbands, marrying other men, and being cheered on by an army of other “Christian” women who praise the actions they took to get out of an “abusive” relationship. Because clearly we’ve got to allow divorce if the man is abusive. Right?

    The funny thing is, given the above scenario, even if we give the benefit of the doubt to the woman and assume that the relationship was legitimately abusive, one has to ask, “Would she have married this man if she’d understood from the start that there was no way out afterwards? Or did she frivolously run into the marriage, knowing there would be no consequences and she could just get a divorce if it didn’t work out?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Such a great comment. I’ve actually observed this in person:

      “Obviously, such a scenario leaves the gambler with zero incentive not to take risks, and this is essentially the position modern women are in given no fault divorce laws. They have no incentive to vet potential marriage partners and choose their childrens’ father wisely since the government will effectively reimburse them entirely if they become dissatisfied in their marriage, at the husbands expense mind you.”

      Woman I used to work with said on the day of her wedding: “Oh well, if it doesn’t work out, I can always get a divorce”.

      “Because clearly we’ve got to allow divorce if the man is abusive. Right?”

      Not making her happy counts as abuse now, and women with big sexual histories who are accustomed to fun and thrills are very hard to keep happy.


    1. I’ve read it! Wilcox does good research, but I think he accepts radical feminism and wants to just force men to “man up” and continue to marry. He isn’t interested in rolling back feminism to make marriage more attractive to men.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. No fault divorce = a woman can have her cake and eat it too mentality.

    She can be with rebellious men and also be rebellious to husbandry.


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