Thursday, March 05, 2009

Things are Happening Today in Michigan

Posted by Michele Olson

Have you heard?

An interfaith coalition of religious leaders is launching a marriage offensive in Michigan over the next 48 hours.

Convinced that stubborn rates of divorce will yield to marriage counseling and patience, a group of more than a dozen ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and laity have scheduled a series of meetings today and Friday to introduce marriage-saving programs to Metro Detroit couples, lobby legislators for mandatory waiting periods for divorce and commit Macomb County to a Community Marriage Policy, which 223 communities across the country have adopted.
Signatories to the policy pledge themselves to encourage enactment of the five-part Community Marriage Policy program, which calls for six months of preparation before marriage, annual church-run marriage retreats, training married couples to intervene in troubled marriages, a 12-week reconciliation course for separated couples and creating so-called step-families -- support groups for families and couples dealing with troubled marriages.

Michigan had the 27th highest rate of divorce in the nation, with 3.4 divorces per 1,000 residents in 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Illinois, with the third-lowest rate of divorce -- 2.6 divorces per 1,000 persons -- requires a two-year waiting period for contested divorces and six months for uncontested divorces. Although Wisconsin’s numbers are not quite as high as Michigan's, every state should be concerned about Community Marriage Polices that can have a positive effect on bringing down the divorce rate. If you would like to know more about what is happening in the state of Wisconsin email

Michigan would also do well to understand the role that marriage education, not just marriage counseling can play in bringing about this policy. Meanwhile....go Michigan! (Read Full Story)

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