Home Liberal The Right’s War on Divorce—and Its Costs (Mother Jones)

The Right’s War on Divorce—and Its Costs (Mother Jones)


The Right’s War on Divorce—and Its Costs – By Katie Herchenroeder (Mother Jones) / Sept 7, 2023

To enshrine a traditional idea of marriage, there is a state-level push against no-fault divorce. It would harm victims of abuse.

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She didn’t want to be married anymore, and he didn’t like that.

In April, right-wing activist and influencer Steven Crowder told the audience of his podcast, Louder with Crowder, that he and his wife, Hilary, were getting divorced. He claimed he was blindsided. She just “didn’t want to be married anymore,” he complained, “and in the state of Texas, that is completely permitted.” In today’s legal system, he went on, “my beliefs don’t matter.”

Crowder’s lamentation refers to what is called no-fault divorce. Under Texas’ current laws, one party can unilaterally file to end a marriage. The other party has a chance to respond, but no one has to prove that something—or someone—caused the divorce. “Fault” can still be used to bolster legal claims of abuse, like when resolving custody fights, but it is not required.

The push for no-fault divorce began in California in the 1960s ostensibly to alter a system that required public discussion of wronged parties, infidelity, and other private matters for a legal separation. Couples fought bitterly in public; some fabricated fights to get divorce papers. No-fault divorce helped simplify the process. “Now all they have to say is: We tried but the marriage failed, so let’s give it a decent burial,” explained a lawyer of the new provisions. In 1969, Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating the first such divorce law. In the following decades, states across the country altered their rules—it was a cascade of reform that changed what it meant to seek legal separation.

CONTINUE > https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/09/no-fault-divorce-texas-republican-gop-crowder/


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