Longest State Effort Fails to Reduce Divorce

Oklahoma, which a dozen years ago began what became the largest state marriage initiative in America, has failed to reduce divorces. According to the Tulsa World, Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation, with 13.5 percent of adults in Oklahoma divorced in 2012, up from 11.6 percent in 2000, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The so-called Sooner State spent 14 years and $70 million trying to combat divorce. Begun in 1999, Oklahoma’s Marriage Initiative is largely funded by discretionary federal welfare dollars. It offers counseling and workshops for every stage of romance from dating to divorce to remarriage. ¬†Between 2001 and 2007, an estimated 5 to 10 percent of Oklahoma’s adults participated in related workshops.

According to Christianity Today, many states are trying to stabilize marriage. North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia are considering bills that would make divorces more difficult to obtain; Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, Minnesota, and Arizona offer economic incentives for couples who attend premarital counseling.

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