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Why outdated divorce laws still exist

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Blog, Divorce

Divorce wasn’t always as easily accessible to Texas residents as it is by today’s standards. Many states, including Texas, had laws that were designed to purposefully make divorce harder.

Some laws have been removed from the books, but certain states still enforce divorce laws that would be considered outdated in other places. There are a few reasons that these laws existed in the first place and why they’re still enforced to this day.

What states still have outdated divorce laws?

Some states have unusual divorce laws still on the books. For example, Delaware has a law that says a marriage can be annulled if one or both parties got married on a dare or as a joke. In Alabama, the wife could be kept from using the initials or last name of her former husband after the divorce.

Mississippi has a few different laws that would allow for a fault-divorce, including claiming your partner suffers from “natural impotency, insanity or idiocy.” In this state, you can file for a divorce if your wife gets pregnant with another person’s child or if there are claims of bigamy, incest or addiction problems.

Other states, like Texas, Arizona and Missouri, don’t let couples finalize a divorce if the wife is pregnant with the husband’s child. They must wait until the child is born to finalize the divorce and discuss custody arrangements.

Why do these laws exist?

A lot of these laws can be traced back to fault divorce. It wasn’t until the 19th century that you could file a divorce just because you wanted to; you always needed a reason for the court to grant the divorce.

Regardless of the reason for these outdated divorce laws, a lot of them can make it harder for couples to come to an amicable resolution. That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the divorce laws in your state.