History of Divorce in America

The first divorce in America was granted on January 5th, 1648, to Anne Clark in what was then the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the grounds of an absent and adulterous husband. This early example of divorce was a rare exception. At that time, obtaining a divorce was very difficult because it would only be granted on the grounds of a clear fault, like abandonment or abuse. Since that time, divorce has undergone many changes in the United States.

Brief Timeline of Divorce in America

From that first divorce in early colonial America to modern issues relating to same-sex marriage, America has a long and interesting history with divorce.

  • Not until the 1950s did divorce begin to include some cases in which no clear fault was presented other than the lack of ability to reconcile the relationship. Previously, it was necessary to have a reason to pursue a divorce, such as abuse or adultery.
  • By the 1970s, no-fault divorces were more widely adopted into the legal system of each state, providing many people for the first time with the option to divorce their spouse because of unhappiness with the relationship rather than for more extreme reasons.

The concept of divorce has been controversial throughout its history, but as long as marriage has existed, the idea of separation has had to be addressed by society in some way.

Speak with a San Marcos Divorce Lawyer

If you or a loved one is involved in family law litigation or a divorce case with child support, custody, or visitation issues, and need legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact the Fischer & Van Thiel Family Law Firm of San Marcos at (760) 757-6854 today to get solid legal advice and a professional divorce lawyer consultation.