A pair of divorce mediators who are also mother and daughter recently held an expo designed to help single individuals deal with the struggles of divorce. They say the idea for a divorce expo came to them after attending a similar event in France. Although such expos have appeared in the United States in the past, they are typically more prominent in Europe.
Critics say the expo is unnecessary and may even be harmful. A representative for a Maryland group known as Marriage Savers argued that a divorce expo is laughable. She said what the community needs are better ways to help couples restore marriages. The group works with churches in various locations to slow the rate of divorce.
Reports from other experts suggest that this fear surrounding a rising divorce rate may be based in fiction. "People think we have this increasing divorce rate, but really it's a high and stable rate," explained a sociology professor from Bowling Green State University.
While they acknowledged the public skepticism surrounding the event, the operators defended the event, contending that it was not intended to promote divorce or serve as a way for single people to meet. Rather, they explained, the expo is designed to create a supportive community for divorcees.
One of the mediators explained that men and women of divorce need a strong network of support and help with transitioning to a new life just like married couples. The other mediator chimed in that the expo is also intended to send a social message that divorce is a part of life and therefore needs to be addressed. This is true. Many married couples will get divorced, and its better that they know what to expect ahead of time.
Source: Wall Street Journal, "Divorce Enters Expo Age," Sumathi Reddy, March 28, 2012