At times marriages identify the legal parent of the child and this creates some form of responsibility for the children by each spouse. It is easier to walk away and fail to support the children when relationships do not work out if people are cohabiting than when they are married. Civil marriages can only be nullified trough divorce which is done in courts. The legal process entails the consent of both spouses and interests of children are catered for. Unlike in cohabitation where such children may suffer when their parent’s relationship turns sour, marriages also ensure that division of property earned together is well divided. Marriages therefore provide greater human capital for children the cohabitation relationships. Marriages call for more commitment as compared to cohabitation which can be terminated by a simple and informal agreement between the spouses. Without the legal consent in the division of property conflicts may arise in the cohabitation relationships.
In the article, Stevenson and Wolfers pointed out that many policy makers encourage the idea that married people are happier than single or divorced people are. This is societal influence and many people who have believed this have gone ahead and married. What these people have failed to realize is that happiness is a personal choice and a single person who is unhappy will remain unhappy even after he or she is married. They noted that single people who are happy remain happy even after they are married. Realizing one’s identity is one of the important things to personal fulfillment. Marriage should not be taken lightly and people should be more committed to the institution. There are many instances where people get married to try out their luck and see if things will work out. Just like denying parental responsibility to illegitimate children, reduced cases of children born out of wedlock (Stevenson and Wolfers 16), putting some stringent measures in divorce cases might help in reducing the divorce rates in the country.
To conclude, increase in divorce rate is due to the socialchanges. Nowadays, people re-evaluate the marriage and try to pursuit romantic love. Infact, divorce can only indicate the legal termination of marriage but not the subjectivevalue of selfish and irresponsible. Thus, I disagree that "the rise in divorce ratein modern societies indicates that people are becoming selfish and irresponsible inmarriage".
Nowadays, though women can choose to terminate the marriageonce there is marital disharmony, they will not to do so. In Hong Kong, many poor womenwith dependent children claim they will get a divorce as soon as their children have grownup. In Japan, prior to 1970, most divorcees were under 30; by mid-80, they were in theirearly 30. The latest trend is the middle-age women, who is starting to assert herindependence after her children have grown up. From the above, can we say that the rise indivorce rate indicate the selfishness and irresponsibility among people?
Marriage benefits to children and the spouses involved by far outweighs the benefits that cohabitation has. Cohabitation is inadequate in provision of financial and emotional support that partners would be looking for in their spouses. (Manning D and Lichter T, 999). Commitment improves on trust and faithfulness which are very important in the raising of children. Marriage is better than cohabitation as one can better enjoy the purposes of their union with a spouse. Working together would see couples advance and they can easily meet their obligations without constraints. A married person will be more secure and therefore better in terms of health than a cohabitant. Cohabitation is also seen as an arrangement that drains away the religious aspects of family life. Family life should not be an experiment or a disposable institution but should be permanent.
Security offered in marriage poses additional mental as well as physical gains as with the thought that someone will always s be there for you ‘for better or for worse’ they are able to face life’s uncertainties with much confidence. Married coupes are also better connected with the wider society from which they can attain support if need be for instance from in laws or religious leaders. The support could be emotional, social or material. Cohabitation on the other hand could be considered as immoral by the society or family members and seeking their assistance may not be sought. This not only affects the relationship with the parents but also creates more emotional problems for cohabitants who may lack ‘a shoulder to lean on when need arises. Marriages also provide visible social linkages. (Waite L and Gallagher M, 30)
On the other hand, what is the meaning of selfish andirresponsible? In fact, it is quite a subjective concept as it involves value-judgementand cannot be measured so accurately. To me, irresponsible in marriage means that one isnot properly care about the marriage, while selfish means one is chiefly thinking of one'sown needs and welfare. According to definition, the rise in divorce rate cannotsufficiently indicate the selfishness and irresponsibility of people . In order to have aclear concept, let us use some cases to indicate it.
 In the past, divorce was absolutely disapproved and only granted in case ofnon-consummation of marriage. But, does the existence of the marriage mean that bothspouses are satisfied? Maybe, they have constant fighting or one of them is physically andsexually abused by their partners, or they just concern their own benefits though they areliving under a same roof. In this case, though no divorce take place, selfishness can befound.
Married men are more likely to advance in their career and can be more innovative to attain or fulfill their added responsibilities unlike single men. Married women are also more likely to access a higher share of their partners’ earnings that cohabitant women would. Team work between spouses would work to help the spouses meet their career as well as financial goals.
 Nicky Hart argues that the increasing divorce rate can be seen as a product ofconflict between the changing economic system and its social and ideologicalsuperstructure (notably the family). Due to the material aspiration - the demand for goodsthat families desire, raised by the capitalists, both men and women become the wageearners. However, working wives are still expected to be responsible for houseworkand play a subservient role to the husband. These expectations contradict the wife's roleas a wage earner as she is sharing the economic burden now. Eventually, conflicts may beresulted and divorce is inevitable. Besides, jobs require separation between spouses, ordifferent marital expectation stem from the sub-culture of the particular social group ofthe spouses or young marriage but lack of working experience may also lead to divorce.
Children of cohabitants may experience poorer emotional development than of married parents as the parent’s insecurity may be transferred to the children. Married couples could offer better and safer environment for their children free from abuse which is likely to occur when parents are cohabiting with boyfriends who are not their biological parents. The biological father is less likely to physically, emotionally or sexually abuse his own children compared to a boyfriend. The children could also have their education or academic excellence negatively affected. (Whelan R, 50)
Marriages pose a higher chance for marital satisfaction as they are more committed to their spouses, while cohabitants are not fully contented and have conditional relationships. With lesser commitment and marital satisfaction they may be more prone to unfaithfulness than the married spouses, unfaithfulness would lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases especially the dreaded HIV AIDS. Cohabitation especially with multiple partners is very dangerous. Again it creates more insecurity which does not benefit the related parties in whichever way. (Popenoe D and Whitehead B, 60)