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             Divorce involves the recognition that a marriage has hopelessly.
             failed and that at least one of the partners has no desire to.
             continue the marital relationship. Divorce legally dissolves a.
             marriage, and permits the partners to remarry if they choose. .
             Divorce differs from an annulment, which declares a marriage.
             invalid because of some flaw in the contract.
             The early American settlers brought with them three different.
             views on divorce: 1) the Roman Catholic view that marriage was.
             a sacrament and that there could be no divorce; 2) the English.
             view that divorce was a legislative matter; and 3) the.
             Protestant view that marriage and divorce were secular matters.
             to be handled by the civil authorities. .
             The Constitution of the United States did nothing to limit the.
             rights of the states to enact their own laws governing marriage.
             and divorce. Despite several efforts to amend the Constitution,.
             to allow Congress to pass federal legislation on divorce, to.
             this day the states retain separate laws. Because divorce laws.
             vary from state to state, the "migratory divorce" developed: .
             couples would move temporarily to a state where divorce was.
             easier to obtain than at home. For example, a couple living in.
             New York State, where until 1967 the only grounds for divorce.
             was adultery, would establish residence in Nevada -- a procedure.
             that took only 6 weeks -- and file for divorce on grounds of.
             mental cruelty.
             Popular attitudes toward divorce changed as the United States.
             became more urbanized and less religious. The increasing.
             acceptance of divorce was reflected in court interpretations of.
             existing laws and in new legislation enacted by the states. Two.
             tendencies merged, making possible the establishment of new and.
             easier grounds for divorce. The focus of state divorce, which.
             previously concerned itself with specifying legal grounds for.
             divorce, shifted to criteria concerning the breakdown of the.
             marital relationship. This could be seen in conditions that.

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