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Haddock v. Haddock Overruled, 52 Yale Law Journal 341 (1943)


SUBJECT to diversified state legislation, divorce presents a particularly difficult conflict of laws problem in this country. The foundation fur this problem was laid when divorces were granted fur causes recognized by local legislation (lex fori) without reference to the laws of the matrimonial domicile. And the question was further complicated when married women were allowed to acquire domiciles separate from those of their husbands. Since divorce strikes deep into our social life and is basically a religious or moral issue, state laws reflecting widely divergent views on the subject extend from extreme strictness to the greatest liberality. Causes for divorce range all the way from adultery as the sole ground to "extreme" mental cruelty. Consequently, persons living in states under whose laws they cannot obtain a divorce seek to take advantage of the laws of more liberal jurisdictions. The migratory divorce problem has become even more intensified in recent times, for several states have changed their divorce legislation with the ex-press purpose of attracting non-residents. Nevada, the first to enter the divorce business, reduced its residence requirement, in 1927, to three months and in 1931, to six weeks. Some of the Mexican states have gone even further, granting divorces without reference to domicile or residence, and in some cases by mail. All efforts to remedy the situation have failed. Even the most conspicuous, the Uniform Marriage Annulment and Divorce Act, has received the approval of only three states. An amendment to the Federal Constitution giving Congress power, similar to that of the Canadian and Australian legislatures, to deal with the subject of marriage and divorce is perhaps the only real solution to the problem.

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