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Pace Law Review

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The authors "summarize New York's history of divorce legislation and analyze the forces that, for such a prolonged period, kept reform at bay. In Part I we describe the halting development of divorce law from the 18th to the end of the 19th century. Part II focuses on the first half of the 20th century and the continuing, mostly futile, efforts to liberalize divorce law. Part III examines the ways in which New Yorkers succeeded in dissolving their marriages on their own terms, despite the strictures of the law. In Part IV, we explore the social climate and chain of events that allowed divorce reform finally to occur in the 1960s. Part V discusses the 1980 enactment of an Equitable Distribution Law and its connection to the question of marital fault. In Part VI, we consider the prospects for achieving true no-fault divorce, and conclude that reform of the grounds of divorce is dependent on further reform of divorce finances, particularly a more equitable determination of spousal maintenance."



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