Although Denmark has a reputation as one of the happiest countries in the world, it also has the highest divorce rate in western Europe. A new law enacted in Denmark will require citizens to take a divorce course in order to legally dissolve their marriage.
Denmark is not alone. Many countries are struggling with high divorce rates. Statistics from Denmark show that in 2017, almost half of all marriages in the country ended in divorce. That statistic may change because, from today, Danish couples seeking a divorce will be required to study up on the process by taking a divorce course.
Professor Gert Martin Hald, from the University of Copenhagen, helped develop the course, told Euronews: “The course, which is available on an app, gives advice on communication with your former partner and how to help your children.
Although Florida has a lower divorce rate than Denmark, it is not only because a divorce course is required in Florida. Importantly. the beginning of the year is the highest time for divorce filings. The spike in divorce filings peaks in late March. I have written about divorce planning and especially the phenomenon of divorce filings at the beginning of the year before.
The first few months of the year are known for divorce filings, and January is nicknamed the “Divorce Month” in Florida. Researchers recently did an analysis of all American divorce filings and found that there is a spike in divorces in January.
There are many reasons for what’s happening at the beginning of the new year that causes people to divorce. The holidays are often a tricky time for couples whose relationships have been under pressure for a while.
Add in the intense time spent together, financial pressure, extended family critiques and unrealistic expectations (nothing worse than happy people’s Facebook posts) – and it can spell disaster for some relationships.
In Florida, the legislature has found that a large number of children experience the separation or divorce of their parents. Parental conflict related to divorce is a major concern because children suffer potential short-term and long-term detrimental economic, emotional, and educational effects during this difficult period of family transition.
This harm can be particularly true when parents engage in lengthy legal conflict. So, Florida requires a divorce course called the “Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course” and may include several topics relating to custody, care, time-sharing, and support of children.
Florida does not have any type of cooling off period before you can file for divorce, but Florida’s Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course sounds very similar to the Danish divorce course. In Denmark, many believe some divorces can be premature, now they will have to have a three-month reflective period.
According to proponents of the new law in Denmark, the course is really aimed at countering the well-known adverse effects of divorce, it’s not necessarily to discourage divorce, but put people in a better position to deal with it.
“What we’ve done is target areas of the divorce process which are difficult, such as how to communicate with ex-partners and also understanding your own reactions and the reactions of any child.”
The Danish group studied two and a half thousand divorces to see if this is beneficial in reducing depression and improving the physical health of divorcees and it’s been shown that over a twelve-month period, it has a positive effect.
This new divorce course, only for couples with children, is designed to help both parties reflect on what life will be like apart.
The Euronews Report is here.