What is the Healthy Marriage Initiative? By NC Divorce Attorney Carole Gailor

20 Jan 2010

The U.S Department of Health and Human Services is promoting the Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI) through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In 1996, Congress made very pertinent observations about the profound impact that healthy marriages have as the foundational building blocks of society. While healthy marriages hold definite, undeniable benefits for children, husbands and wives also reap many benefits. Research shows that married women in healthy relationships, are emotionally and physically healthier, are wealthier, less likely to live in poverty; less likely to commit suicide, do drugs, be abused, or contract STD’s. They are likely to have good relationships with their children and feel satisfied with their spouse. Married men gain the same benefits; but in addition married men also live longer, are often wealthier, earn higher incomes, and are less likely to commit violence.

The ACF does not advocate marriage as a solution for every person in society, and recognizes that divorce should be accessible if a spouse is experiencing an unhealthy relationship. A healthy marriage, as described by the ACF, has two basic characteristics: deep respect and mutual enrichment. Marriages should be satisfying for both the husband, wife and children, if present. A healthy marriage should be committed to continual growth, effective communication and good conflict management skills.

The purpose of the HMI is to re-establish the importance of marriage as the main building block of a healthy society. The goals of the initiative are to raise awareness and increase the number of healthy married couples through marriage education, programs that teach relationship and parenting skills, pre-marital education and public advertising campaigns through government grants and funding.

The HMI has been put into action so that married couples and committed couples that live together, can obtain the knowledge and skills to maintain long, healthy and satisfying relationships through efforts to learn and focus on how to foster a healthy relationship for personal wellbeing of the husband, wife (or significant other) and children.

Though there are many benefits to marriage, if an informed decision was not a part of your marital union, or there are unhealthy practices such as infidelity, violence or abuse, counseling services may be the next step in the effort to regain health and happiness. If the marriage is irretrievably damaged, then a non-adversarial approach to ending the relationship can include mediation or arbitration services.

If mediation or arbitration are not successful, divorce is the last step to end an unhealthy marriage. It is important to seek out a knowledgeable lawyer who will help you exercise your rights to obtain an equitable distribution of assets and necessary spousal and child support. With assertive lawyers experienced in the areas of property division, alimony, child support and custody trials, your case will be in good hands with the North Carolina family law firm of Gailor and Hunt. Depend on this highly experienced team for your case by calling toll-free 866-362-7586.

Raleigh Divorce lawyer Carole Gailor (http://www.gailorwallis.com/cgailor.html)