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No Fault Divorce


									No Fault Divorce
A no fault divorce allows a dissolution of marriage requires neither
party to show wrong doing on the part of the other party nor any evidence
of any wrong doing. The divorce is granted upon petition to a family
court by either party.
This form of divorce does not require the petitioner to show that the
respondent is at fault. This concept was pioneered by the Bolsheviks
after the Russian Revolution of 1917. The 1918 Decree on Divorce
eliminated religious marriage as well as the underlying the
ecclesiastical law. The structure was replaced with civil marriage which
was sanctioned by the state. Divorces were granted by appealing to a
state office.
In the United States, no fault divorce came about in the early 1970s.
There was widespread disgust among both lawyers and judges over the legal
fiction and friction that was so common. For example, in New York, there
were arranged affairs. The husband and wife which wanted a divorce would
arrange for the wife to walk in on her husband and her supposed mistress
at a pre-determined time. She would then tell her sob story, carefully
guided by a lawyer, in court. In California, many wives would testify
that their husbands were "cruel." They too would sit on the stand and cry
their eyes out over the supposed cruelty they had to face at the hands of
their husbands. Lawyers and judges everywhere were disgusted by the
widespread presence of perjury and felt that the American justice
system's legitimacy was at risk.
Part of the problem was that, prior to reform, divorce could only be
obtained by showing that one party was at fault. This went beyond merely
not loving one another. One party had to plead that the other had
committed adultery, abandonment, felony, or some other culpable act.
California, in 1969, passed the Family Law Act of 1970 which pioneered no
fault divorce in the United States. The law was signed by Governor Ronald
Reagan in 1969 and became effective January 1, 1970. The law abolished
common law action for divorce. It also created the concept of
"irreconcilable differences". This made it much easier to obtain a
divorce in California.
By 1983, all but 2 states ( New York and South Dakota) had adopted no
fault divorce statutes. Today, New York is the only state without a
statute creating irreconcilable differences and no fault.
For more information on divorce laws in California, please visit
Joseph Devine

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