Marriage & Divorce

In Florida and across the country the marriage rate is steadily declining. Young people are delaying marriage or not getting married, the cohabitation rate is skyrocketing—causing societal instability and costing the taxpayers enormously.

For those who do marry, Florida has the highest number of recorded divorces in the country with 81,000 divorces annually. Of the ten cities in the United States with the most divorces, four are located in Florida (Palm Bay, Jacksonville, Deltona, Panama City). Each divorce costs Florida taxpayers roughly $31,000.

FFPC is dedicated to rebuilding a culture of marriage in Florida and to strengthen marriages. Please see the links below for resources on this critical issue:

If your marriage is currently in crisis or you are considering divorce, please visit our Get Help resource page to find trusted information and counseling resources to restore and rebuild your marriage.


Talking Points and Basic Information

God’s Design for Marriage (Video)
John Stemberger

Marriage: God’s Idea
Focus on the Family
Where there is anything that’s designed, there is a designer. Whether it’s a truck, building or train — or even marriage — there is always a mastermind behind the masterpiece. God, the mastermind of marriage, also has a plan for how marriage works best.

The Divine Order to Marriage
Dr. David Kyle Foster, Focus on the Family
Marriage is the full expression and design of God’s image in human beings.

Why Marriage Matters for Adults
Glenn Stanton, Focus on the Family
“The evidence from four decades of research is surprisingly clear: a good marriage is both men’s and women’s best bet for living a long and healthy life.”

164 Reasons to Marry
Pat Fagan, Anne Dougherty, and Miriam McElvain, Marriage & Religion Research Institute
Marriage is the foundational relationship for all of society. All other relationships in society stem from the father-mother relationship, and these other relationships thrive most if that father-mother relationship is simultaneously a close and a closed husband-wife relationship. Good marriages are the bedrock of strong societies, for they are the foundations of strong families.

A Generation’s Fading Dream of Marriage Reflects an Incomplete Truth
The Heritage Foundation
Marriage has long been a part of the American dream. People have an innate understanding that healthy marriages build healthy lives and families. But the declining marriage rate shows that the dream is fading…young people are embracing a mistaken belief that a healthy marriage is either unattainable or unnecessary.

Millennials and the Future of Marriage
Caleb Sutherlin, Family Research Council
As less marriages take place, there will be fewer examples of healthy marriages for children to emulate.

The Effects of Divorce on Children
Patrick Fagan and Aaron Churchill, Marriage & Religion Research Institute
Each year, over a million American children suffer the divorce of their parents. Divorce causes irreparable harm to all involved, but most especially to children.

Marriage, Family Structure, and Children’s Educational Attainment
Marriage & Religion Research Institute
Social science shows the significant contributions marriage has for children’s education.

Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty
Robert Rector, The Heritage Foundation
Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware of its principal cause: the absence of married fathers in the home.

A Generation Conflicted About Marriage
Amber and David Lapp, The Heritage Foundation
Many young Americans are left on the outside looking in, admiring marriage but paralyzed with anxiety about becoming another divorce statistic or worried that their boyfriend or girlfriend is not trustworthy.

Effects of Marriage on Society
Marriage & Religion Research Institute
Marriage is the foundational relationship for all of society. All other relationships in society stem from the father-mother relationship, and these other relationships thrive most if that father-mother relationship is simultaneously a close and closed husband-wife relationship.

Divorce in Our Nation
Julie Baumgardner, The Heritage Foundation
Young people and parents alike typically believe, regardless of background or life experience, that their chances of divorcing are 50 percent. But there are many things that we can do culturally to increase these young people’s chances of achieving their [healthy marriage] aspiration.

Reclaiming the Heart of Marriage
Focus on the Family
After directing us back to the beginning, Jesus provided a way for us to return to God’s design for our lives and marriages.

3 Things to Remember About the Importance of Marriage This Valentine’s Day
Hugh Phillips, Family Research Council
Most people see Valentine’s Day as a fun opportunity to express their love to their spouse or significant other. Therefore, it’s a great time for Christian conservatives to take this opportunity to emphasize, through public policy and social activism, the critical importance and beauty of marriage, both to individuals and to our culture as a whole.

Comprehensive Research and Articles

Kids Need a Mom and a Dad – That’s What the Research Shows
Jeff Johnston, Focus on the Family
Children do best when raised by their biological, married mother and father. It’s more than just an opinion: Decades of social research demonstrate this outcome.

Seven Reasons Why “Getting Government Out of the Marriage Business” Won’t Work
FFPC President John Stemberger
Marriage privatization would devastate society.

Privatizing Marriage Is Impossible
Jennifer Roback Morse, Public Discourse
We cannot escape the fact that marriage is an intrinsically public institution. We can’t avoid making collective decisions about its meaning and purpose. If we don’t do it explicitly, we will end up doing it implicitly.

The Divorce Revolution Perpetually Reduces US Economic Growth
Henry Potrykus and Patrick Fagan, Marriage & Religion Research Institute
Divorce, now acculturated, constantly inhibits U.S. economic growth.

Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage
Henry Potrykus, Patrick Fagan, Robert Schwarzwalder, Marriage & Religion Research Institute
Three facts shape our on-going fiscal crisis: Government revenues come from the taxation of our economy. Our economic growth is and will continue to be a fraction of that of the pre-1960’s era (cf. Chart 1) because of the breakdown in marriage. All the while, more citizens are pushed into dependency on this government, again because of marriage breakdown.

Why Marriage Should Be Privileged in Public Policy
Family Research Council
All citizens, including policymakers, should do their part to uphold the institution of marriage, because it provides the best environment for raising children, who are the future of our society.

Marriage and the Law: A Statement of Principles
Institute for American Values and the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
A Call to the Nation from Family and Legal Scholars

Defending the Truth About Marriage: A Matter of Justice
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades
By its very nature, marriage is exclusively the union of a man and a woman. God is the author of marriage and He endowed marriage with certain essential attributes. Male-female complementarity is essential to marriage.

Love and Life in the Divine Plan
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
In November 2009 the U.S. Catholic Bishops approved a pastoral letter that presents the essential points of Catholic teaching on marriage as a natural gift, as a sacrament, and as a public commitment between a man and a woman. It also discusses several contemporary challenges to marriage and how the Church addresses those challenges.

Websites, Books and Additional Information

The National Marriage Project
University of Virginia

2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States: Births, Marriages, and Divorces
United States Census Bureau

Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles
The Witherspoon Institute

Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America
Pontifical John Paul II Institute

National Organization for Marriage

Marriage: Unique for a Reason
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI)
The Marriage and Religion Research Institute is dedicated to making available the social science data and research on the impact of marriage and religious practice on the lives of children and the future of the nation.

Strong Marriages Florida
The statewide Florida campaign to strengthen marriage and reduce the divorce rate by training marriage mentors

Coalition For Divorce Reform
The Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of divorce reform leaders, marriage educators, domestic violence experts, scholars, and concerned citizens dedicated to supporting efforts to reduce unnecessary divorce and promote healthy marriages.

Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom (Book)
Ryan T. Anderson, PHD

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (Book)
Timothy Keller

The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market and Morals (Book)
Robert P. George and Jean Bethke Elshtain

Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers (Book)
Mike & Harriet McManus, Co-founders of Marriage Savers

The Solution for Marriages: Mentoring a New Generation (Book)
Jeff Murphy and Chuck Dettman
This unique guide provides pastors, marriage mentors and couples with a proven road map that masterfully combines timeless wisdom, critical relationship skills and the use of a thorough and validated couple assessment to virtually eliminate divorce.

Why Marriage Matters: Reasons to Believe in Marriage in Postmodern Society (Book)
Glenn T. Stanton

The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially (Book)
Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher

Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting (Ebook)
Glenn T. Stanton and Dr. Bill Maier

One Man, One Woman: A Catholic’s Guide to Defending Marriage (Book)
Dale O’Leary

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