Though divorce is not something that most people think about when starting a marriage, it has become more and more common over the years. If you are facing a divorce, you are not alone. Click on the links below to learn more about the international history of divorce and some recent statistics about Utah divorce. To learn more about the Utah divorce process and speak to a divorce attorney concerning your particular situation, please contact us.
1772 B.C. Divorce regulation was first introduced by the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylonia.
Early Rome had an informal, private divorce process.
449 The emperors Theodosius and Valentinian of Rome changed the divorce law to allow penalty-free divorces to men and woman if their spouse committed certain acts (homicide, poisoning, robbery, etc).
700s The Catholic Church announced that marriage was indissoluble by divorce or death.
1100s Marriages were enforced strictly and even adultery could only result in separation, not divorce.
1500s Protestant leaders in Europe began recognizing divorce as a protest against the Catholic institution of marriage.
1560s Scotland first recognized divorces for adultery. By 1573 desertion was also grounds for divorce.
1701 The state of Maryland in the United States declared divorce legal.
1792 Divorce was legalized in France then later made illegal in 1816.
1857 The Matrimonial Causes Act allowed ordinary people in England to divorce. Before then, divorce was largely open only to men, and had to be granted by an Act of Parliament, which was hugely expensive, and therefore was also open only to the rich.
1875 The Personal Status Act allowed divorce in German states if the couple was previously entitled to a religious “perpetual separation order”.
November 3, 1910 Divorce was legalized in Portugal.
1920s In the aftermath of the 1917 Revolution, the Soviet Union went through a period of very informal divorces that could be obtained just by one spouse announcing the divorce. Moscow reported 5,000 divorce petitions in the first few months after the change. The rules for marriage and divorce were relaxed even further after 1926, when the divorced spouse was sometimes notified by letter (or postcard).
1938 The Divorce Act of 1938 in Scotland recognized divorces for adultery, desertion, cruelty, sodomy, beastiality and “no-fault” divorce for incurable insanity.
1949-50 South Carolina declared divorce legal.
1960’s Divorce made legal in Canada. Previously the only option was to get a marriage dissolved by an Act of Parliament with an investigation by a special committee of the Canadian Senate.
1969 The Divorce Reform Act was passed in England, allowing couples to divorce after they had been separated for two years (or five years if only one of them wanted a divorce). A marriage could be ended if it had irretrievably broken down, and neither partner no longer had to prove “fault”.
1970s The U.S. instituted no-fault divorces.
1974 Italy legalized divorce.
1976 The Divorce Act for Scotland provided for no-fault divorces for irretrievable breakdown for causes of adultery, desertion, unreasonable behavior, 2 years separation and consent of both spouses, or 5 years separation.
1978 Divorce made legal in Brazil
1980 China legalized the no-fault divorce.
1981 The government of Spain legalized divorce.
February 27, 1997 The country of Ireland joined the rest of Europe in making divorce legal when it passed an amendment ending the country’s constitutional divorce ban.
March 2004 The Congress of Chile approved legislation to legalize divorce after 9 years of debate and a 120 year divorce ban.
July 2004 A lesbian couple in Ontario, Canada became the first same-sex couple in Canada to seek a divorce.
March 2005 A congresswoman in the Philippines published a bill to legalize divorce. A previous attempt had been made between 2001-2004 but died in Congress without a vote