How Divorce Has Changed Over the Decades

How Divorce Has Changed Over the Decades

Divorce has come a long way in the United States. Take a look at how divorce has changed over the decades:

Late 19th Century-Early 20th Century

In 1887, Congress decided to collect data related to divorce for the first time in history to determine how big of a problem it had become in society. Although there was still a stigma surrounding divorce, many were beginning to hold more relaxed views towards it.


The U.S. established trial marriages in the 1920s that allowed couples to test whether marriage was right for them before actually committing to getting married. Basically, a trial marriage involved a couple moving into together for a short period of time and living as man and wife.

During this time, marriage counseling also became more popular and was used to help couples address issues in their relationship. Both the establishment of trial marriages and the rise of marriage counseling showed that couples were making an effort to keep their marriages intact.


Prior to the 1950s, couples had to use the traditional court system to ask for a divorce. But, that all changed when the family court was created in the U.S. for the sole purpose of handling matters related to divorce. As a result, law firms that specialized in helping couples get through a divorce began to pop up in major cities across the country.


The biggest change to divorce in the U.S. came in the 1970s when no-fault divorces were legalized. Before the 1970s, divorcing couples had to identify which party was to blame for the divorce. Starting in the 1970s, a judge could grant a divorce even if neither party did something to cause the split. The first no-fault law was actually passed in 1969 in California, but other states did not follow until the 1970s.


Each state has its own laws regarding the division of assets, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Today’s family courts try to ensure that each spouse is treated fairly and equally in divorce proceedings.

There are still people that hold traditional views on marriage and don’t believe that divorce is an option. But in general, the stigma that used to surround divorce is gone. Divorcees no longer have to worry about being judged or labeled as an outcast because their marriage did not make it.

If you are filing for divorce, seek legal representation from an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The divorce attorneys at Adams Family Law will stand by your side and protect your best interests through every step of the divorce process. Schedule a consultation with us today by emailing or calling 513-929-9333.

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