Florida is home to the nation's third-highest divorce rate. This alone is not a happy fact. But perhaps more disturbing are the large-scale side effects of marital discord. There is deep psychological and economic fallout. According to the Times-Union, Florida's divorce rate contributes to its status as one of the "most stressed states in the country." Children of divorce are prone to emotional disorders and developmental delays. By some estimates, divorces cost Florida taxpayers upwards of $2 billion each year.
In light of this, a number of counties throughout the state--including Duval County--are offering free courses to help couples strengthen their relationships. Indeed, we're getting federal funding to do so; one initiative, spearheaded by the University of Florida, has received a $5 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This would seem to underscore the federal government's recognition that divorce, in many ways, resembles a pandemic disease.