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Has fault divorce fallen from favor?

It is still an option in more than 30 states, but the difficulties in using it remain in place.

Face it. The only people who really know a marriage are the spouses in it. Fault divorce, in addition to inviting punitive litigation between people who once loved one another, also invited a mockery of the ideals of justice: the truth.

Collusion, connivance, condonation -- all made for perjury and fakery, and everyone involved knew that divorce court became a kind of theater where litigants were actors mouthing line written by lawyers who were also directors.

He said-she said testimony taxed the patience and wisdom of judges who had heard it all before. Allegations involving violence in particularly lend themselves to charges that are difficult hard defend against because that means proving the negative.

Moreover, divorce litigation is not a particularly fruitful form of litigation.

When fault was the only option, the well-to-do often migrated to Nevada. Here a liberal residency requirement created divorce ranches, where they enjoyed a short stay as residents of the state even as their divorces were in the works.

The less than well to do often stayed in loveless marriages.