Vanderbilt Law Review

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In recognition of the social reality that marriage often does not last forever, divorce law in the United States has undergone radical changes in the past few decades.' All states have relaxed restrictions on divorce by adopting some form of no-fault divorce grounds. In addition, recent developments have facilitated the termination of a married couple's relationship in economic terms as well. For instance, states today are less inclined to consider the role of marital fault in the settlement of the financial incidents of divorce, and encourage divorcing couples to end their marriages by negotiation and contract in order to minimize the conflicts inherent in litigation. Furthermore, although ensuring the protection of dependent family members remains an important state objective, contemporary family law promotes finality in the resolution of financial obligations between a divorcing couple whenever practical by favoring property divisions and temporary spousal support awards as opposed to permanent alimony. To the extent possible, then, current family law policy attempts to afford former spouses a fresh start by promoting finality and peaceable resolution.

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Family Law Commons