Between 1887 and 1906, eight States, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia raised the “age at which minors are capable of marrying” or the “age below which parental consent is required” for both sexes. The District of Columbia, Idaho, Michigan, New Hampshire, and New York raised the age limit for females, while Massachusetts lowered the age requiring parental consent for both parties, and Oklahoma reduced the “age of consent” for girls. Since 1906 no State has reduced these age limits while Massachusetts, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Utah raised the age, below which persons are capable of marrying, for both sexes, and California, Minnesota, Missouri, and New Mexico, for females. The age below which parental consent is required was raised for both sexes in Georgia and Tennessee, and for females in Idaho, Maryland and Ohio. Illinois was the only State in which this requirement was lowered. Every State code has a section devoted to “Prohibited Marriages.” For the most part these prohibitions have reference to the degrees of relationship regarded as barriers to marriage.
Apparently, the only changes in marriage law intended directly to affect divorces in those days were those restricting the remarriage of divorced persons. Eighteen States and the District of Columbia made changes in their laws in this regard between 1887 and 1906. Alabama made it unlawful for either party to marry again, except each other, following a decree of divorce until after the sixty days allowed for taking an appeal as well as during the pendency of the appeal if one is taken. California, Colorado, Illinois, and Wisconsin made the marriage of divorced persons illegal if contracted within a year from the granting of the decree. Illinois provided “that when the cause is adultery the guilty party shall not marry any other person within two years.”
The District of Columbia prohibited the guilty party in a divorce for adultery from marrying any other person. Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Washington declared marriage illegal if contracted within less than six months after the former marriage had been legally dissolved or annulled. Kansas required an additional thirty days after final judgment in case an appeal had been taken. Michigan changed its law to allow remarriages only within “such time as shall be fixed by the court, and stated in the decree, provided that such time shall not exceed the period of two years from the time such decree was granted.” New York since 1905 has granted only interlocutory decrees, becoming final after a period of three months, and provided furthermore that “when absolute divorce is granted the plaintiff may marry again during the lifetime of the defendant; but a defendant adjudged to be guilty of adultery cannot marry again until the death of the plaintiff, unless the court in which the judgment is rendered modifies such judgment, which modification can only be made upon satisfactory proof that five years have elapsed since the decree of divorce was granted, and that the conduct of the defendant since the dissolution of such marriage has been uniformly good.” North Carolina provided that after a divorce granted for desertion, the party guilty of abandonment could not marry during the lifetime of the innocent spouse. An amendment prohibited the marriage within five years after the decree, but a later amendment repealed this provision. In all these cases restrictions upon remarriage were more stringent than those formerly in effect.
Maine, Maryland, Montana and North Dakota are the only States which relaxed their restrictions in regard to remarriage. Maine repealed a law which prevented remarriage within two years of the final decree and not afterward except by permission of the court, leaving no obstacle to remarriage after divorce. Maryland omitted in the new code of 1888 the previous provision which prevented the remarriage of the defendant, in a divorce granted for adultery or abandonment, with any other person during the lifetime of the plaintiff. Montana repealed the provision that after divorce the innocent party could not marry within two years and the guilty party within three. North Dakota changed its statutes so that instead of preventing the marriage of the guilty party during the lifetime of the innocent, both parties in any divorce are restricted only for a period of three months.
The changes in the divorce laws since 1886 which have direct bearing upon the divorce rate may be grouped under four headings: those which deal with notice to the defendant, provisions for defending the suit, regulations regarding previous residence, and statutory grounds.
The first and second of these concern themselves with matters of procedure, and relatively are of minor importance. In order to put a check upon hasty and irregular procedure, a considerable number of States enacted laws regarding notice to the defendant when a non-resident of the State or when the residence is unknown. These are all of the same nature and define more definitely the process by which notification is to be made. If notice is by publication the time limit usually is fixed, prior to which the action cannot proceed.
Another group of States enacted laws providing that in cases in which the defendant, after proper notice, does not appear, the court shall provide an attorney who shall represent the State in order to secure a fair and impartial hearing for the case. Vermont seems to be the only exception. Such provision already existed in that State but it was repealed in 1890.
Eighteen States between 1886 and 1906 enacted laws or revised existing ones in regard to residence requirements of those making application under their jurisdictions. In the main these acts had for their object the restriction or prevention of persons who might wish to migrate to a State where the divorce requirements were less rigid or where the ground existed upon which they sought divorce.
Georgia had no provision in regard to any specific period of residence prior to 1891. Then an act provided that the libellant must have been a bona-fide resident of the State twelve months and of the county six months before the filing of the petition. Eighteen States, from 1887 to 1906, revised their legal statutes in such manner as might in some way or other affect the increase of divorces as follows: Idaho and Utah added insanity continuing for six and five years respectively, to their lists of causes. Florida and North Dakota enacted statutes including insanity as a cause but later repealed them. Arkansas repealed its insanity clause. Arizona added two new causes, namely, physical incompetency of either party at marriage and continuing until the filing of the suit, and wife’s pregnancy at the time of marriage by a man other than her husband. The period required for divorce on the ground of willful desertion or of neglect to provide was increased from six months to two years but later was reduced to one. Habitual drunkenness of either party, a cause for divorce prior to the revision of the statutes of 1901, was reenacted. Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Rhode Island made the excessive use of opium, morphine, or other drugs a cause.
Massachusetts further repealed as causes, extreme cruelty and a former act which provided that divorce should be allowed when either party has separated from the other without his or her consent, and “has united with a religious sect that professes to believe the relation of husband and wife void or unlawful, and has continued united with such sect or society for three years, refusing during that term to cohabit with the other party.” Rhode Island also made separation for ten years a cause, and fixed the period of neglect necessary for divorce, not specified previously, at one year. It also added a new cause: habitual, excessive and intemperate use of opium, morphine, or chloral. Kentucky in 1893 revived a statute, omitted in the General Statutes of 1883, which made habitual drunkenness on the part of the wife of not less than one year’s duration a cause of divorce for the husband.
In Utah, you can file for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences – no fault. Besides this ground, Utah law permits divorce on the following grounds:
• The husband was impotent at the time of marriage and this was not known to the wife at the time of marriage
• Either spouse engaged in adultery during the marriage.
• One of the spouses has deserted and hasn’t come back for more than a year.
• Failure to provide the other spouse with common necessities of life.
• Other spouse is a habitual drunkard
• Other spouse has been convicted of a felony offence
• The spouse seeking divorce has been subject to cruel treatment resulting in mental distress of bodily injury.
• The spouses have been living separately for at least three years under a separate maintenance decree.
• The other spouse is suffering from permanent and incurable insanity. This must be proved through expert medical testimony.
Speak to an experienced Lindon Utah divorce lawyer to know the grounds on which you can apply for divorce in Utah. There are specific legal requirements for each of the grounds. Today once you are legally divorced, you can remarry. There are no restrictions.
Alimony In Divorce
Alimony –a stream of income paid by one ex-spouse to another–is frequently discussed in media stories about divorces of the rich and famous. Meanwhile, the alimony experience of ordinary citizens is more nuanced. Awards of alimony are theoretically ordered when one spouse has greater need, the other spouse has the ability to pay, and payment is deemed to be fair in some sense. The terms “need,” “ability,” and “fair” are highly subjective in this context.
The mechanics of no-fault law are that either spouse is entitled to assert that irreconcilable differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Exactly what constitutes an irretrievable breakdown under a particular no-fault statute is unclear, but generally one or both parties will allege serious marital discord that makes it impossible to continue to function as husband and wife. In most states a no-fault divorce can be granted even if one party does not agree to it, or indeed, if only one party shows up at the hearing. The implication is that no fault is ascribed to either party, i.e., the breakdown of the marriage was not precipitated by cruelty on the part of either partner nor did other fault grounds exist. In practice, the designation of the grounds for a divorce is often negotiated by the parties. It is not uncommon, for example, for one partner to file for divorce based upon a fault grounds and ultimately reach a settlement of the financial issues and change the petition for divorce to a no-fault proceeding.
Traditional divorce laws based upon fault required the courts by statute to make dispositions of property as well as awards of child custody and support on the basis of what they deemed just and fair under the circumstances. Courts would use their discretion in allowing evidence of fault, because being found guilty or innocent in a divorce action had important consequences for alimony, property division, and child custody. In fact, under traditional law, the purpose of alimony was to financially “reward” an innocent spouse and to “punish” a guilty one. In practice, a wife found guilty of adultery might not be awarded alimony, while a husband found guilty of adultery might be ordered to pay excessive punitive alimony to his ex-wife. The same would be true for desertion. Since, historically, most cases involved a husband abandoning his wife, the wife, as the innocent spouse, would receive a larger alimony award if her husband was at fault.
Once divorce became possible for ordinary couples, the notion of continuing spousal support remained, despite its conceptual inconsistency with the idea that divorce represents a fresh start for ex-spouses. Alimony was awarded to the wife, however, only if she was the “innocent” party in the divorce and her husband was “guilty” of infidelity, cruelty, or other behavior leading to the demise of the marriage. When determining the amount of the award, courts looked at fault, the amount of property the wife brought into the marriage, the wife’s needs, and the husband’s station in life. Sometimes husbands lacked the income to adequately compensate their wives with alimony for property brought into the marriage, and some courts began using distributions of property to remedy situations where a husband could not, or would not, pay sufficient alimony to support an ex-wife.
If you are seeking alimony from your spouse, speak to an experienced Lindon Utah divorce lawyer.
Lindon Utah Divorce Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need legal help with a divorce in Lindon Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC (801) 676-5506 for your free consultation. We can help you with divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, asset division, martial property division, debt division, modification of decrees and much more. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506