Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law sponsored by State Representative Jason Nelson and State Senator Rob Standridge that will require married couples with children under eighteen years old who seek a divorce based on incompatiblity to take a class before they can end their marriage. The Tulsa World Newspaper reported that the class covers a variety of subjects that affect divorced couples and their children, including" substance abuse, addiction,family violence, behavioral health, individual and couples counseling and financial planning."
State Representative Jason Nelson said that divorce affects all taxpayers by putting a burden on social services, the criminal justice system and the school system, adding, "It seems like a small thing to ask people to do- to take a course- when the challenges that come from divorce are so permanent." Representative Nelson is right that single parent families are more susceptible to poverty and a whole range of social problems. Crumbling marriages lead to a downward spiral of increased drug use, crime, teen pregnancy, homelessness, infant mortality, suicide and depression. George Gilder predicted that the loss of the system of family to the system of the unmarried would contribute to the rise of gangs due to the absence of fathers in the home to temper male aggression in their children and guide them in healthy male bonding.