Community Marriage Policy @
The marriage rate has plunged 50% since 1970.  >  Half of all new marriages end in divorce.  >  Cohabitation diverts tens of millions of the marriage eligible from ever marrying.  >  Those who marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce.  >  More than 5.4 million couples live together outside of marriage.  > 
40% of children are born out-of-wedlock.  They are 5 times more likely to live in poverty than those in intact homes and 4 times more likely to be expelled from school or jailed.  >  Only 45% of teenagers live with their married mother and father.  >  Every divorce destroys a tiny civilization  > 
Preparing a man and a woman for a lifetime of successful marriage.
What are the Results of a Community Marriage Policy?
  • Divorce Rate Falls: An independent study by the Institute for Research and Evaluation of the first 114 Community Marriage Policies found that on average, divorce rates fell 17.5% over seven years, nearly double the 9.4% decline of very similar cities in each state. Although that is a modest difference, it saved 30,000 to 50,000 marriages through 2001. In fact, seven cities slashed divorce rates by 48% or more. With six more years and 106 more CMPs in place, perhaps 100,000 divorces have been averted.
  • Cohabitation Drops: The Institute study also found cohabitation fell 13% in CMP cities from 1990-2000 while it rose in similar cities by 19%. Thus, CMP cities ended the decade with cohabitation one-third lower than control cities. No other organization has helped any city reduce divorce and cohabitation -- let alone in more than 100 cities.
  • The Modesto Story: Since the clergy of Modesto, CA adopted the first Community Marriage Policy in 1986, not only has the divorce rate plunged 50%, but the number of marriages has grown from 1,300 in 1986 to 2,500 in 2005. As thousands of marriages have been saved or created, children are faring much better. In a decade, the teen birth rate fell 30%, double the U.S. decline - and the school dropout rate fell 19%.

The Stories

  • The Story of Modesto, CA: results of the first CMP, started in 1986, include slashing the divorce rate by one half and raising the marriage rate by 12%.
  • Richard Albertson of Live the Life Ministries in Tallahassee, FL, reduced the city’s divorce rate by 23%. He built a CMP with a budget of $800,000, raised locally. His ministry also won a $500,000 per year, 5year federal grant.
  • Rev. Jeff Meyers & Pastor LeRoy Sullivan created a suburban- urban CMP in Kansas City, KS, that cut the divorce rate 63%. Pastor Sullivan transformed his inner city church from women and children to couples and kids.
  • Dr. Ann Gries, Marriage Builders, Evansville, IN, led the creation of a CMP that reduced divorces by 20% and increased the marriage rate by 16%. Creating an innovative program on a tiny budget, she recently won a $500,000 per year, 5-year federal grant.

This story repeats itself in more than 200 other cities and towns. See for a map.