Marriage May Save the Planet, Your Wealth, and Your Health

Staying married will indeed save the planet, so says a recent scientific study. In December of 2007 the National Academy of Sciences published a study that found married households are more green than divorced. A study by lead author Jianguo Liu found that per capita divorce households use more electricity and 56% more water than married households, and the average divorced household in the U.S. offers 3.7 rooms per person while married people and their families use only 2.5 rooms per person. As LA Times columnist Meghan Daum put it, “the splintering effect of divorce results in” a bigger carbon footprint. (see Meghan Daum, Save the world and stay married, The Virginian-Pilot, December 16, 2007 at 9.) In Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher’s THE CASE FOR MARRIAGE, divorce generally splits a family’s wealth (including their retirement savings), and is expensive financially, leaving married people among the wealthiest individuals. Furthermore, they reported that married people heal more quickly with the support of each other, and generally live longer than their divorced counterparts. It seems marriage is a much better way to go all the way around.

At Regent Law we teach Family Law in a context of family restoration, rather than in a context of individual rights in divorce, cohabitation, child bearing and sexuality. This context allows law students to use their skills to give families alternatives to divorce, while also having the comprehensive training to serve any client. It seems, however, that this attitude of family restoration is welcomed by those who wish to remain healthy, financially secure, and even by the greenest of scientific studies.

As any reasonable person might guess, like Waite and Gallagher, Daum concludes that marriage is a very good thing, particularly when she noted an example of wedding ring virtue. “Besides, a better case for staying married came not from a science journal last week but from Mississippi, where a man’s wedding ring defected a bullet and saved his life when his antique shop was robbed. ‘I knew being married was a good thing,’ Donnie Register told ABC News. ‘I just didn’t know it was that good.’ It might be even better than 3.7 rooms of one’s own.”

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