The History of Divorce in Michigan and The USA (Part 3)

Not all happy couples in the 30’s and 40’s stayed together. But what about the 50’s?


Welcome back and thanks again for join us. We’ve been discussing the history of divorce, both in Michigan and in the US. So far we’ve had a look at the earliest records of divorce in the US, and checked out the interesting ups and downs in Michigan’s divorce history. So picking up where we left off at the end of the 1920’s, here we go…


There wasn’t actually much that changed with regard to divorce law during the 30’s and 40’s. This was in part because the nation was either at war, or recovering from war for a good chunk of that time. A great many husbands left on boats and planes, never to be seen again.


Divorce was obviously not as big of a concern, although many marriages ended as a result of spouses who were presumed dead. In a few isolated cases, divorces were granted after remarriage had already happened. But this was primarily because women remarried, after being notified that their husbands were presumed dead, only to have him pop up later on, alive and well and wondering why some other guy is sleeping in his bed.


Once the 50’s rolled around, however, the nation had reached a new period of prosperity, and so people got back to the business of getting divorced from one another. This was an intriguing time in divorce history. The 50’s saw the introduction of the nation’s first Family Law courts, which the legislature created to address the issue of divorce, without bogging down the traditional court system. And with these changes, came law firms that began to specialize in family law.


Once divorce attorneys arrived on the scene, things began to change.


In the 60’s, an era known for free love and peace, there was a rather steep rise in divorces. With 61,090 Michigan divorces on the books in 1960, this number climbed to 91,933 by 1970.  But it was just after this period, in 1973, that Michigan law was changed to reflect that of a “no fault” state. This meant that couples were no longer legally required to provide a reason to the court for why they wished to terminate their marriage.


During the 1980’s (which actually saw a slight reduction in the number of divorces in Michigan – 86,898 down from 91,933 for the previous decade) federal legislation was enacted which affected the divorcing spouse’s rights and responsibilities. For example, the new law mandated that each state create child support guidelines for use by family court judges. The IRS also established a series of rules addressing issues like the deductibility of alimony and the ways in which bankruptcy could and could not affect alimony and child support payments.


Since then, not much has changed in the world of divorce law in Michigan. The occasional bill refines or adjusts an existing piece of legislation, but beyond that, much of divorce law remains the same. However divorces are easier to get now that they ever were for residents of Michigan. So if you think getting divorced is tough now, just imagine what people faced 100 years ago when parting ways from a wayward or abusive spouse – Michigan has come a long way!


So, if you or a loved one want to end your marriage and are lucky enough to live in this era of divorce freedom, call The Kronzek Firm. Our skilled family law attorneys can assist you with every aspect of your divorce, including things like personal protection orders, paternity issues and even prenuptial agreements. So call us at 866 766 5245 today. We are here to help.