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California led the way for no-fault divorce

Marriage it may mean something different to each person who enters into it, but the outcome is always dependent on whether each party continues to fulfill the other's expectations. Divorce can be painful and difficult; it could also be acrimonious and could turn into a mud-slinging match as in the days when fault had to be shown. In 1969, California led the way in legalizing no-fault divorce, which made the divorce process smoother and easier, and the remaining U.S. states followed its example. Other states are now in the process of attempting to repeal this law and return to proving fault, a subject that has raised widely opposing views.

There is a perception that divorce is too easy, implying that marriage is taken less seriously as a result. The legal process may be easier with a no-fault divorce, but it does not change the level of emotional strain an individual may experience. It seems more likely to assume that those who feel dissolution of the marriage is the only option left will already have tried to reach a compromise.

The usual submission for a no-fault divorce is irreconcilable differences, which can cover any number of incompatible behaviors and beliefs. If one has to prove that the other party is at fault, then at what point would a judge deem the grounds reasonable and acceptable? Should it come down to a third party to decide when, or if, the marriage is over?

At the heart of it, marriage is an emotional state, whether good or bad. There are many examples of long-lasting marriages where the couples remain as happy together as they were at the start, and equally there are those who stayed together despite intense sadness. But sometimes, divorce seems to be the only option. Californians may be reassured that, in their state, each individual's future concerning divorce is still for them to decide.

Source: sheknows.com, Debate: Should incompatibility be valid reason for divorce?, Monica Beyer, Feb. 12, 2014

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