Even before the United States officially became the nation we know, divorce was a hot topic in the colonies today. But things began to bend and change when then-California Governor Ronald Reagan officially declared family law in California. The law created a “no-fault” option for couples who divorced in California, who can now divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences. Other states soon followed, and irreconcilable differences quickly became the gold standard for divorce in the United States. During this decade, for the first time in history, the United States elected a divorced and remarried president (Ronald Reagan), and divorce became a common theme in television shows and movies. The “divorce rate” usually refers to the number of divorces that occur in the population during a given period. However, it is also used in common parlance to refer to the probability that a particular marriage will end in divorce (as opposed to the death of a spouse). Divorce has begun to find support around the world and the number of countries seeking to adopt and legalize divorce is beginning to increase. Divorce was first applied in the following countries: France in 1762, but illegally in 1816; Germany 1875; Ireland in 1997; Italy 1974 and Spain 1981. In the United States, the divorce story began in the state of Maryland.
Maryland declared divorce legal in 1701 and South Carolina from 1949 to 1950, while the state of California legalized no-fault divorce in 1970. In Pennsylvania, divorce certificates have been kept since 1804 in the prothonotary`s office of the county where the divorce was granted; However, divorce was pursued in Pennsylvania as early as 1682. One of the earliest divorce law documents in North America dates back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Here, the settlers set up a court to decide the divorce procedure. As already mentioned, divorce was rare and largely illegal during this period; However, the court allowed some exceptions and divorced in cases of adultery, desertion, bigamy and impotence. The most famous divorce case in history remains that of Henry VIII against Pope Clement VII. The battle began in 1527 when Henry tried to force the pope to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, who had not provided him with a male heir. Determined to make the young and pretty Anne Boleyn his wife, Henry finally broke with Rome in 1533 and declared himself the head of a new church, the Church of England. The collateral damage of Henry`s unilateral decision was a way of life that dated back more than a thousand years. Gone forever was not only a system of patronage or ancient rites, but the vast network of religious schools, hospitals, monasteries and monasteries that maintained the social fabric of the country. Divorce rates rose again in the 1960s to reach 26% in 1967.
Divorce factory states like Nevada continued to serve as a popular way to get quick divorces if you didn`t want to create elaborate stories of adultery or abuse. The decision on maintenance was left to the discretion of the various courts. The Church of England`s opposition to divorce was so strong that the only way to obtain a divorce was through an Act of Parliament – a bill passed by both houses. It is not surprising that few people have had the means or inclination to show their private misfortunes to the press, the public and some 800 politicians. When a divorce law was finally passed in 1857 and the “floodgates” were opened, the number of divorces in English history was only 324. The threat of divorce even prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to verbally rebuke states with lax divorce laws in his sixth annual message of 1906, and he suggested making divorce a federal affair to avoid “scandals and abuses” due to national differences in the law. In general, western states had more lenient divorce laws – East Coast couples who could afford to travel often went to places like Utah, Indiana, and South Dakota (states considered “divorce factories”) where a quick divorce could be obtained, and housing, restaurants, and even events were provided for couples traveling there. to end their marriage. Other states, such as South Carolina, have abolished divorce altogether. California led the way in 1969, but it wasn`t until the 1970s that other states (Iowa is the second) passed the law.
In many ways, it was passed to reduce the divorce costs of hiring lawyers and the high court fees associated with lengthy lawsuits that didn`t materialize. Divorce lawyers and financial advisors still benefited greatly from divorce proceedings, even if both parties just wanted to separate and move on. Less than 20% of couples who married in the 1950s divorced, but changes have taken place that would completely change the way people divorce. Instead of letting couples continue to go through traditional courts to dissolve a marriage, family courts were created in the 50s, focusing solely on divorce, family, and matters relating to children. Some lawyers took advantage of this opportunity and divorce law firms sprang up in the cities. In a famous 1942 divorce case in New Jersey, Kreyling v. Kreyling, a court ruled that wife Anna Kreyling was right when she refused to have sex with her husband after he insisted on using contraceptives whenever they were intimate. The frustrated husband eventually moved out and the court ruled that he had left Kreyling and granted them a divorce. This case was important because it found that the refusal to have “natural” sex (in other words, sexual relations that could lead to reproduction) could be considered abandonment and constituted grounds for divorce. In addition, the same share of ownership and finance is another thing that the law is still trying to correct. While this varies from state to state in the United States of America in most cases, the blame doesn`t always pass to who gets the property.
The legislative and judicial system is still trying to strike a balance in modern America between a system that allows divorce without the need for evidence of wrongdoing and a fair and equal system while taking into account the child factor. And that`s where the bad news comes in. When it comes to divorce and marriage, America is increasingly divided along class and education lines. Even though divorce in general has declined since the 1970s, what sociologist Steven Martin calls a “divorce gap” has also widened between those with and without a college degree (a distinction that often results in income disparities). The numbers are quite striking: Americans with college degrees have seen their divorce rate drop by about 30 percent since the early 1980s, while Americans without a college degree have seen their divorce rate increase by about 6 percent. Just under one-quarter of college-educated couples who married in the early 1970s divorced within the first ten years of marriage, compared with 34 percent of their less educated peers. Twenty years later, only 17% of college couples who married in the early 1990s divorced within the first ten years of marriage; However, 36% of less-educated couples who married in the early 1990s divorced in their first decade of marriage. “People think divorce is a modern invention, but divorce has been very common in the past,” says Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College and author of Marriage, a story. Before Ms. Addison`s successful trial, the best a woman could hope for was a legal separation. These agreements fell within the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts. Litigants of both sexes could sue for separation for life-threatening cruelty or adultery.
Women who receive a mensa et thoro divorce (separation from bed and board) can live apart from their husbands, often with an allowance set by the court. The process was expensive and cumbersome – so there were only a few dozen cases a year – and in the end, whatever the reasons for separation, a woman always had to be chaste and obedient to her husband. If there were no truly extenuating circumstances, she could expect to lose custody of her children as well. Research also shows that remarriage is not an ointment for children who have been hurt by divorce. Indeed, as sociologist Andrew Cherlin notes in his important new book, The Marriage-Go-Round, “children whose parents have remarried do not have higher well-being than children in single-parent families.” The reason? Often, starting a blended family leads to another move for a child, which requires adjusting to a new caregiver and their half-siblings – which can be difficult for children who tend to thrive in stability. While factors such as changing social attitudes and online divorce services have contributed to this increase in divorce rates, the main drivers of this change have been formed in the foundations of the original marriage and divorce laws and regulations. Perhaps the biggest change in divorce law in the United States in its history came with no-fault divorces on their part in the 1970s. So far, some of it was to blame. Even in family courts, it was still necessary to identify adultery or something similar and then agree on the terms of the divorce, but with the change in the law, a divorce could be granted if neither party was at fault. It is a huge task, to say the least. But if our society is truly interested in protecting and improving the well-being of children — especially children in our nation`s most vulnerable communities — we need to strengthen marriage and reduce the frequency of divorce in America. The unthinkable alternative is a nation increasingly divided along class and marital status, and children doubly disadvantaged by poverty and single parents.