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Divorce Laws

( Originally Published 1918 )

Previous Residence Required.—Six months in Idaho, Nevada and Texas ; one year in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado (except in case of adultery in State), Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota (same as Colorado), Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming; two years in Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin; three years in Connecticut, District of Columbia and Massachusetts if when married both parties were residents; otherwise five years) ; actual residence at time of bringing suit in Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York (if married in the State), or both parties resident at time of offense.

Absolute, Causes for.—The violation of the marriage vow is cause for absolute divorce in all the states and territories, except South Carolina, which has no divorce laws.

The living of husband or wife at the time of a second marriage is a cause in most states, and physical incapacity in all the states except Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, South Carolina and West Virginia. In most of these states it renders marriage voidable.

Willful desertion, one year in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming; two years in Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee; three years in Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia; five years in Rhode Island, though the court may decree a divorce upon a shorter period. Both parties living apart without cohabitation, five years, in Kentucky; ten years, Rhode Island; no time specified in Louisiana and New Mexico.

Habitual drunkenness in all the states and territories, except Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Ver-mont and Virginia. "Intoxication from the use of intoxicating liquors, opium, or other drugs," in Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Rhode Island.

"Imprisonment for felony," or "conviction for felony," in all the states and territories (with limitations), except District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, New York, North and South Carolina. In Maine sentence to imprisonment for life and confinement under it dissolves marriage without legal process.

"Cruel and abusive treatment," "intolerable cruelty," "extreme cruelty," "repeated cruelty," or "inhuman treatment," in all the states, except District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, and South Carolina, and discretionary in Georgia; treatment seriously injuring health or endangering reason in New Hampshire.

Failure by the husband to provide, one year in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Rhode Island; two years in Arizona, Indiana, and Nebraska; three years in New Hampshire; no time specified in Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

Fraud and fraudulent contract, in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Washington. (When the marriage is procured by fraud, force or coercion, and is not subsequently confirmed by the acts of the injured party.)

Absence without being heard from, three years in New Hampshire and Ohio; seven years in Connecticut and Vermont; voluntary separation, five years in Wisconsin; ten years in Rhode Island.

"Ungovernable temper," in Kentucky; "habitual" indulgence in violent and ungovernable temper," in Florida; "cruel treatment, outrages, or excesses which render their living together insupportable," in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas; "indignities as render life burdensome," in Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming; attempt to murder the other party, in Illinois, Louisiana, and Tennessee; "pregnancy at the time of marriage without husband's knowledge or agency," in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Insanity or idiocy at time of marriage, in Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia; insanity lasting ten years, in Washington; in Florida, four years; insanity and six years' confinement in an asylum, on six years' residence, in Idaho; permanent insanity in Arkansas.

Other causes in different states are as follows: "Commission of the crime against nature," in Alabama; "husband notoriously immoral before marriage, unknown to wife," in West Virginia; "fugitive from justice," in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia; "gross misbehavior or wickedness," in Rhode Island; "any gross neglect of duty," in Kansas, Ohio, and Oklahoma; "refusal of wife to remove into the State" in Tennessee; "joining any religious sect that believes marriage unlawful, and refusing to cohabit," in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire; "vagrancy of the husband," in Missouri; "refusal of wife to cohabit for twelve months," in North Carolina; "excesses," in Texas; "where wife by cruel and barbarous treatment renders condition of husband intolerable," in Pennsylvania; "concealment of sexual disease," in Kentucky; obtaining divorce in another state, in Michigan and Ohio; "conviction of a felony prior to marriage," in Arizona, Missouri, Virginia, and West Virginia; "incurable Chinese leprosy," in Hawaiian Islands; "offering indignities, rendering condition intolerable in Wyoming; voluntary separation for five years, in Wisconsin. Public defamation of other party, in Louisiana. In Georgia an absolute divorce is granted only after the concurrent verdict of two juries, at different terms of the court. In New York absolute divorce is granted for but one cause, adultery. Collusion and connivance bar a divorce, also any condonation of a violation of the marriage vow.

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