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Marriage and divorce
Last year, 2008, Australia's divorce rate fell to only 2.2 divorces per 1000 population, the lowest in 20 years. Marriages increased 2.1 percent, to a yearly total of 118,756 per year.
Marriages are lasting longer than before. In 1989 the typical time from marriage to divorce was 10.2 years - now it's 12.6 years.
That's the good news.
Not so good news is that the proportion of couples living together before marriage is now 77 percent. If such living-together couples eventually do marry, most are more likely to end up divorcing.
By living together unmarried they've proved that marriage means little to them; so if things get a bit tough, they tend to give up on it.
Whose job is it to warn young people that non-marriage "relationships" ruin both one's own life and that of one's "partner" - and especially that of any poor children who have turned up?
Let's hope Catholic schools are doing this job. Few others are likely to.
ARNOLD JAGO (DR)
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 9 (October 2009), p. 14
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