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Bizarre and hilarious reasons to divorce that made headlines in the early 20th century, 1910s-1920s


This photo collection features historical newspaper clippings showing the strange and sometimes hilarious reasons for divorce that made local headlines in the early part of the 20th century.

From the middle to the end of the 19th century, the divorce rate in the United States increased, and Americans obtained more divorces annually than did all of Europe.

Previously, divorces in the US were granted mainly to the middle and upper classes because of their cost, but the legal process became less expensive.

Other proposed explanations include popular acceptance of divorce as an alternative to marital unhappiness, a loss of belief in immortality and future punishment, dissatisfaction with society's existing constitution, mobility habits created by better transportation, and resulting in women's greater independence. Huh. in their increased legal rights and greater opportunities for self-support.

The divorce rate continued to rise into the early 20th century. In 1890, 3 couples per 1,000 were divorced, increasing to 8 couples by 1920.




During that time, divorce was considered against the public interest, and civil courts refused to grant divorce except if one party to the marriage had betrayed the "innocent spouse".

Thus, in most states the spouse suing for divorce had to show a "fault" such as abandonment, cruelty, incurable mental illness, or adultery. If an "innocent" husband and wife wish to separate, or if both are guilty, "no one shall be allowed to escape the bond of marriage.

Divorce was withheld if the evidence shows any indication of collusion between spouses to form grounds for divorce, such as procreation or collusion (contribution to a fault, such as by arranging adultery), Forgiveness (either expressly forgiving the mistake) or continuing to cohabit even after knowing about it), or acquittal (the suing spouse is also guilty).



Divorce is governed by state rather than federal law, and several strategies were devised in several states to make divorce easier.

By 1909, Reno, Nevada was the "divorce capital of the world." At the time, only six months established state residency in Nevada, and the Nevada courts, well aware of the contributions of divorce seekers to Nevada's hospitality industry, accepted the resident's unconfirmed claim of grounds for divorce, usually But "extreme cruelty."

In 1927, the Nevada Legislature, "in response to a perceived threat to the supremacy of Reno's divorce from France and Mexico and an ongoing divorce-trade war between Nevada, Idaho and Arkansas since the end of World War I," reduced did. The residency period was three months, and the Legislature, which voted for "wide open gambling" in 1931, reduced it to six weeks.

Providing accommodation and other amenities for visitors who could not leave Nevada during the six weeks became a major reno industry; Greeters met the oncoming trains, and there were a variety of divorce farms.

In 1942, the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled in Williams v. North Carolina that other states were to recognize these divorces under the "full faith and credit" clause of the US Constitution.



By 1916, America was leading the world in the number of divorces. In populous New York state, where adultery was the easiest ground for divorce, lawyers would provide a divorce package consisting of a prostitute and a photographer.

Significant numbers of divorce seekers are in Mexico-U.S. went to cities on the Mexican side of border, or Haiti, where he found welcoming lawyers, who sometimes worked in the U.S. was advertised in.

The introduction of no-fault divorce in the United States during the 1970s increased divorce rates. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that in the US from 1975 to 1988, in families with children, wives filed for divorce in about two-thirds of cases.

In 1975, 71.4% of cases were reported by women, and in 1988, 65% of cases were reported by women.



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