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Country music performer Pam Tillis sang about divorce Mary was married with children had the perfect suburban life Until her husband came clean with the help of Jim Beam and confessed all his sins one night He said hed fallen in love with a barmaid He said that she made him feel reckless and young And when he was through what else could she do Nothing there is nothing she could do about it Since its introduction in 1969 no-fault divorce allows man or woman to fall out of love on a whim Leaving the sacred vows promised in front of God and witnesses mean nothing Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage Websters 1996 420 Divorce has been around as long as the institution of marriage Divorce has been through three major eras over the past two centuries restricted divorce divorce tolerance and unrestricted divorce Cherlin 2002 417-422 The era of restricted divorce was prevalent in the western world until the mid-nineteenth century Generally divorce was permissible only in cases of adultery and abandonment and primarily allowed only to men Divorce was rare in this time although a higher number of couples separated permanently without legally divorcing compared to those who did divorce The mid-nineteenth century saw a change in divorce patterns This period saw women being allowed to divorce their husbands In fact according to Andrew Cherlin two-thirds of all divorces were initiated by women In this period of divorce tolerance spouses had to prove their case in the grounds they alleged This era lasted into the 1970s Cherlin 2002 Today the United States is in the era of unrestricted divorce Since the early 1970s it is no longer necessary for a spouse to be at or prove fault Cherlin 2002 Anyone who wants to get divorced can In 1969 California was the first state to introduce into law no-fault divorce laws Gatland 1997 An uncontested or no-fault divorce is one in
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