One plan for reducing the deficit is to make divorce harder. The Coalition for Divorce Reform says that a single parent family resulting from divorce can cost the federal government about $20,000 to $30,000 a year. That results in an overall expense of $33 billion to $112 billion a year.
Divorce reform advocates are arguing that making divorce less easy can save the government billions of dollars in an era of mounting debt and deficits. Reformers cite these studies:
— A Pew Charitable Trust Study in 2010 found that children of divorced parents often are hindered economically and unable to reach higher-income levels.
-– W. Bradford Wilcox wrote in a 2009 paper, citing research by professors Paul Amato and Alan Booth of Pennsylvania State University, that if America “enjoyed the same level of family stability today as it did in 1960,” there would be 70,000 fewer suicides, 600,000 fewer children undergoing therapy, 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency, 750,000 fewer children repeating grades, and 1.2 million fewer school suspensions each year.
-– A new study by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin says children of divorced parents live an average of five years less than children whose parents stayed together.