The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 26, 1986 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, January 26, 1986
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Page 13
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Wedding The Salina Journal Sunday, January 26,1986 Page 13 Contracts could cut divorce rate Mr. and Mrs. Biff Oliver (Sandra L. Smith) Smith-Oliver SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Airman 1st Class Sandra Louise Smith and Airman 1st Class Biff Oliver were married Jan. 18 at Brooks Air Force Base Chapel. .„ Parents of the couple are Mr. and Mrs. Wayne C. Smith, 903 Rainbow Drive, Salina, and Pete and Louise Oliver of Houston. The musician was Betty Reagan of San Antonio. Honor attendants were Debbie and Michael Henderson of San Antonio. Other attendants were Derek Ragon and Jerry Alkazar of San Antonio. A reception, buffet dinner and dance followed at the Villa Granda Clubhouse, San Antonio. The bride, a graduate of South High School, Salina, attended Fort Hays State University. She is a financial management specialist at Kelly Air Force Base. The bridegroom graduated from Marian Christian High School and attended Texas State Technical Institute, both in Houston. He is also a financial management specialist at Kelly AFB. A delayed wedding trip is planned. The couple are at home at 5219 Gray Buffalo Drive, San Antonio. Nuclear family dominant in American households NEW YORK (AP) — Contrary to popular belief, the nuclear family consisting of a married couple and their children has always been the . dominant household type in the ! United States, according to a recent report. The Cosmopolitan Report on the Changing Life Course of American Women was commissioned by Cosmopolitan magazine from the Bat'. telle Memorial Institute, and shows the demographic changes affecting today's American woman. The extended family, romanticized in fiction and comprising several generations living and working together on the family farm, was never a large part of American family life, the report states. Even in colonial America, it was rare for three generations or two married couples to live in the same household, it notes. CHICAGO (AP) - If engaged couples signed on the dotted line before walking down the aisle, they might be less likely to end up battling each other in divorce court, says a professor at the University of Chicago. "I think marriage contracts might lower the divorce rate a bit," said Gary S. Becker, an economics and sociology professor. "The courtroom is not a good place to make judgments about the unique circumstances of each marriage or relationship." Becker said the courts are filled with lawyers who specialize in divorce and couples haggling over custody, money and possessions. Forty percent of all marriages formed in the United States since 1975 will dissolve if couples keep breaking up at the present rate, according to Becker. The outcome might be different, he said, if the man and woman treated matrimony as a long-term agree- ment, devising contracts that would spell out, for example, child custody and property division in the event of a divorce. "It would force them to better plan out what rights they would have if they did divorce," Becker said. "On the whole, I think it might lower the divorce rate by giving women more security. "They would know what they were going to have going into the marriage." Critics of contracts have said that couples about to marry may be bunded by love and are unlikely to think clearly about the financial terms of a separation. Becker argues that could be solved by having a couple begin with a general contract they could amend from time to time. And, as a last resort, the contract could always be challenged in court. "Is it better to wait until a couple is on the verge of a divorce and both partners are angry and resentful?" he asked. Divorce laws in most states have changed radically since 1970, when California passed the first unilateral, or no-fault divorce law, Becker said. Several studies, including one by Elizabeth Peters of the University of Colorado, have shown that the financial condition of divorced women has deteriorated in the wake of lower child support and alimony payments brought on by the no-fault laws. "Husbands seeking divorce no longer have to offer substantial settlements in order to obtain their partner's consent," Becker said. As a result, couples are now more likely to ask judges to decide who should get what in divorce cases. "The courtroom is not a good place to decide what to do with property, the custodial arrangement with the children and any claims by the wife to future earnings," he said. "People who enter into voluntary contracts are in a better position to judge." Reasons for parenting could be questionable CARSON , Calif. (AP) - If it were a totally rational decision, nobody would become a parent, says Dr. Judy Todd, a psychology professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson. Babies, she notes, can be expensive, inconvenient, draining, exhausting and time consuming. But it's difficult to sort out what are totally wrong or right reasons for wanting to have a child, she adds. "It's one of those things — if you want one, you want one," she said. "What is, after all, a good reason? You make up things, such as wanting to nurture, to contribute to society by raising good members of society. I'm not sure what the good reasons are. "Is carrying on family tradition a good reason? Even wanted babies end up abused. You may want them for the right reasons, but they're not what you expect. Most people don't have any good idea of what babies are like." Nowadays, Todd points out, adults often haven't been exposed to babies as much as when families were larger. "If you're trying to decide about whether to have a child," she suggests, "take a baby for the weekend to get a more realistic picture — and earn some mother's undying gratitude." Todd described some questionable reasons for having a baby, which could lead to potential problems for the parents and child. A teen-age girl who has a baby to be "grown-up" and to gain independence from her parents is a poor candidate herself for motherhood, she said. "Another poor reason to have a child is to get someone to marry you," Todd said. "Adolescent girls sometimes get 'accidentally' pregnant to force the issue with their boyfriends." .. Once a couple is married, there is a lot of societal pressure to reproduce, whether or not the pair wants to, Todd explains. But having a baby just to please your parents isn't a good idea. "All my friends who decided not to have kids complain of questions such as 'When are you going to have them? Do you have a problem?' These remarks come especially from parents and in-laws. But also, everywhere they go, the first question is 'How many kids do you have?' In their age group, a lot of conversation focuses on kids." Even if a couple has one child, there is pressure to have a second baby, Todd notes. "Now my friends who have one kid and want to stick with one kid get pressure from some people," she said. "There's a real prejudice in our culture against only children, who are seen as spoiled, lonely and lacking in social skills. But enormous amounts of empirical research show that only children turn out very well." Another questionable reason to have a baby is to replace a child who has died, Todd said. In the cases she is familiar with, the pyschologist said, the replacement children grew up depressed, with feelings that they're not real persons. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes a couple could make is to have a baby in order to save a faltering marriage, she said. "A shaky marriage is already under bombardment from outside stress — such as job loss — and. internal strife, and often a lack of communicaton. To that picture, a baby will add another source of stress. "It's not going to help," she said. If one parent wants a child and the other doesn't, having a baby could spell disaster for the union, with the spouse possibly ending up disliking the baby, she pointed out. "Couples do divorce over this decision," she said. SAVE 50% Starting Monday, you can buy Shelton's & J.P. Roth's quality fashions at half price. No "seconds" or "special purchases" never Intended for regular stock, but Sallna's Clothiers quality you've come to rely upon since 1932. Not all merchandise Included -Nominal alteration charge. & Sons, 107 N. SANTA FE»SALINA, KANSAS 67401 1829 SOUTH OHIOSALJNA, KANSAS 67401 Monday-Friday 9:30-5:30, Saturday 'til S:OO (813) 827-9651 Monday-Saturday 9.30-5:30. Thursday 'til 8:00 825-8238 Table Cloths & Skirting available in pink, blue, peach, yellow, green, ivory, burgundy, rose, lavendar, white, red & holly. Reusable Clear Plastic Trays, Forks & Knives Champagne, Punch & Wine Glasses 1117 W. 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