Saturday, October 5, 2019

No-Fault Divorce Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

No-Fault Divorce - Essay Example In the first decade of this century the grown of divorce rates has reached almost epidemic proportions in the United States with as many as 12 million divorces registered over the 1990s which is the highest the developed world (Williams, 2000). Consequently, a number of experts view no-fault divorce as one of the key contributors to the increasingly high divorce rates in the US. Even brief analysis of the no-fault legislation and specifics of divorce granted under it suggests that such belief relies on solid evidence and might be absolutely correct: no-fault laws in their current form must be revised on the basis of sociological and legal experience that has been accumulated over the last three decades. The concept of no-fault divorce does not require demonstration of any proofs or evidences of wrong-doing to dissolve a marriage. The first state to adopt no-fault laws was California where they came in force on January 1, 1970. The example of California was soon followed by other states that implemented similar legislation. Prior to that, the procedure for obtaining a divorce involved mandatory provision of evidences demonstrating fault of one of the spouses. Requirements to the nature of such evidences were strict too. It was not sufficient to make a mere statement of not loving the spouse: only a proved case of committed adultery, wrongdoing, abandonment or other serious guilt qualified as a valid reason for divorce. At the same time, the spouse who preferred to save marriage had most instruments to do so. Therefore, it was up to the judge to weigh all evidences provided by both sides to the marriage, and often the decision regarding granting divorce was negative (Baskerville, 200 0). The sophisticated divorce procedure forced many couples who did not commit any act sufficient for the court to grant divorce seek for the way to bypass it. This resulted in numerous tricks and legal fictions invented by lawyers to satisfy the needs of such couples. For the most part, these tricks were based on false testimonies. This tendency produced highly negative response from the legal community with numerous judges and lawyers arguing against the excessively strict divorce procedure. The key concern was that such increase of perjury cases occurrence might undermine the reputation and integrity of the US system of justice. Advocates of a simplified divorce procedure claimed that adoption of no-fault laws was a better choice than forcing spouses continue living together or making perjury (Friedman, 2002). Although the no-fault legislation apparently simplified the divorce procedure, there has recently been a considerable movement for revocation of no-fault laws in the United States. Several key problems are associated with the concept of no-fault divorce. Firstly, the initial objective pursued by authors and advocates of no-fault laws was to facilitate dissolution of marriage by mutual consent of both spouses. However, it turned out that in most cases mutual consent was not in place and the new procedure enabled any party to the marriage to dissolve it without the other party's agreement. Thus, according to some estimates four out of five no-fault divorces were unilateral with only one of the spouses insisting on ending the marriage (Baskerville, 20

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