One medical doctor summarizes the social science data for us:
…research on the children of divorce provide overwhelming evidence to disprove the myth that divorce does not harm children. In fact, the divorce epidemic has contributed to the serious and growing psychopathology in American youth. One example is the first major study of American adolescent psychopathology published in 2010 (Merikangas et al.): 49 percent of the 10,000 teenagers studied met the criteria for one psychiatric disorder and 40 percent met the criteria for two disorders.
Research by Penn State sociologist Paul Amato (2005) on the long-term damage to children from divorce demonstrated that, if the United States enjoyed the same level of family stability as it did in 1960, the nation would have 70,000 fewer suicide attempts in youth every year, about 600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy and 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency. He wrote that turning back the family-stability clock just a few decades could significantly improve the lives of many children.
Another study in 2011 demonstrated the suicide risk in those whose parents divorced before they were 18. This research with 6,647 adults revealed that 695 participants had experienced parental divorce before the age of eighteen and that the men from divorced families had more than three times the increased risk of suicidal ideation in comparison to men whose parents had not divorced (Fuller-Thomson, E. & Dalton, A.D., 2011). Adult daughters of divorce had an 83 percent higher risk of suicidal ideation than their female peers who had not experienced parental divorce.
Given all this, why is it so hard to convince lawmakers to put reasonable limits on divorce?