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Marriage Breakdown Costs Arizona Taxpayers at Least $654 Million a Year

Contact: Eric Garcia, 480-718-3020


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona, April 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- In first-ever research, a new report quantifies a minimum of $654 Million in Arizona and $112 Billion Nationwide annual taxpayer cost from high rates of divorce and unmarried childbearing. The report identifies national, state and local costs which amount for more than $1 Trillion in the last decade. This landmark scholarly study, entitled "The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and All 50 States" was released today, April 15th at the National Press Club by four renown policy and research groups – Institute for American Values, Georgia Family Council, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and Families Northwest.


"In addition to the negative relational and emotional impact on children, we now have quantifiable and reliable data that supports the staggering financial impact divorce and unwed childbearing have on taxpayers and the ripple effect this can have on the local church and communities they serve. This study further confirms prior research that raising and keeping families together makes sound economic sense for everyone" said Eric Garcia, Co-Founder of the Association of Marriage & Family Ministries in Scottsdale, Arizona.


"Even a small improvement in the health of marriage in America would result in enormous savings to taxpayers, for example, a 1% reduction in rates of family fragmentation would save taxpayers nationwide $1.1 Billion" said David Blackhorn, President of Institute for American Values. He continued, "This report now provides the basis for a national consensus that strengthening marriage is a legitimate policy concern"


"These costs are due to increased taxpayer expenditures for anti-poverty, criminal justice and education programs and through lower levels of taxes paid by individual whose adult productivity has been negatively affected by increased childhood poverty caused by family fragmentation" said principal investigator Ben Scafidi, PhD., economics professor at Georgia College & State University.


"These numbers represent real people and real suffering." Said Randy Hicks, president of Georgia Family council. Both economic and human costs make family fragmentation a legitimate public concern. Historically, Americans have resisted the impulse to surrender to negative and hurtful trends. We fight problems like racism, poverty and domestic violence because we understand that the stakes are high. And while we'll never eliminate divorce and unwed childbearing entirely, we can certainly be doing more to help marriages and families succeed."


AMFM exists to lead a marriage and family movement with its resource partners and members, to transform marriage and family relationships all across America by year 2020, in the church and the communities they serve. We are achieving this by training, equipping and resourcing all those called to serve in marriage and family ministry. AMFM is a non-profit organization co-founded in 2003 by Eric and Jennifer Garcia, authors of Couple2Couple Marriage Mentoring™