California Healthy Marriages Coalition Says Associated Press Article 'Job Loss Impacts Child Support' Doesn't Tell Impact on Taxpayers

Jan 18, 2010, 19:46 ET from California Healthy Marriages Coalition

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The widespread release on January 15 by the Associated Press of a piece entitled "Family Finance: Job loss impacts child support" left out the important story of the impact of divorce on taxpayers.  California Healthy Marriages Coalition President Dennis Stoica says: "That may be the most important part of this story because divorce and family fragmentation costs American taxpayers an estimated $112 billion dollars a year and has sweeping affects on our children. The bigger story here is how do we prevent couples from going through divorce so we can help our families, children and economy at the same time."

According to The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing released by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, "potential risks to children raised in fragmented families include poverty, mental illness, infant mortality, lower educational attainment, juvenile delinquency, conduct disorders, adult criminality and early unwed parenthood." The report also concludes, "divorce leads to higher costs to taxpayers through higher spending on antipoverty programs throughout the justice and educational systems as well as losses to government coffers in foregone tax revenues."

Stoica says: "The Associated Press got it right reporting the economy is affecting men's jobs and women's child support, but that is only a small portion of the larger burden divorce creates. Our children are suffering, men and women are financially and emotionally depleted, and taxpayers pick up the tab. Divorce wrecks havoc on everyone. When are we as a nation going to work toward prevention of divorce rather then sweeping up the carnage left behind?"

How can we change the tide of divorce destruction? According to The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing, "even small increases in stable marriage rates would result in very large returns for taxpayers. For example, a mere one percent reduction in rates of family fragmentation would save taxpayers $1.1 billion annually. Because of the very large taxpayer costs associated with divorce and the small price tags of federal marriage-strengthening programs, if the programs proved even a modest success rate, it would translate into effective cost savings."

Fortunately, low cost Marriage Education and Relationship Education classes are successful and available throughout the country, but the general population is still unaware that these classes exist. Stoica says, "If we can get mainstream media writing about these beneficial classes as much as they write about celebrity divorces, then we might create a tidal wave in awareness about what helps families thrive."

CHMC is the recipient of the Federal government's largest Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant. For the past four years, CHMC has taught proven relationship-building skills to thousands of California couples and individuals through Marriage Education and Relationship Skills classes for all ages and stages. A comprehensive statewide listing of relationship skills classes is available at

SOURCE California Healthy Marriages Coalition