In the United States, the Federal Government does not have the authority to issue a divorce.The state has the only authority over issuing accepting a marriage, and issuing a divorce.The terms of the divorce are usually determined by the court, though they may take into account prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses may have agreed to privately.In the absence of agreement, a contested divorce may be stressful to the spouses and lead to expensive litigation.Less adversarial approaches to divorce settlements include mediation and collaborative divorce, which negotiate mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that from 1975 to 1988 in the US, in families with children present, wives file for divorce in approximately two-thirds of cases.Prior to the latter decades of the 20th century, a spouse seeking divorce in most states had to show a "fault" such as abandonment, cruelty, incurable mental illness, or adultery. In populous New York State, where adultery was the easiest grounds for divorce, attorneys would provide a package consisting of a prostitute and a photographer, with whose product divorce could be obtained. In 1975, 71.4% of the cases were filed by women, and in 1988, 65% were filed by women.
Divorce or "dissolution of marriage" is a legal process in which a judge or other authority dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to marry other individuals.
Without proper jurisdiction a state cannot issue a divorce.
States vary in their rules for division of assets in a divorce.
Even in such cases, a divorce was barred in cases such as the suing spouse's procurement or connivance (contributing to the fault, such as by arranging for adultery), condonation (forgiving the fault either explicitly or by continuing to cohabit after knowing of it), or recrimination (the suing spouse also being guilty). the emergence of second wave feminism, the use of collusive or deceptive practices to bypass the fault system had become a widespread concern, if not actually a widespread practice, and there was widespread agreement that something had to change. Lenore Weitzman's 1985 book, The Divorce Revolution, reported a one-year post-divorce decline in standard of living for women of 73% compared with a 42% one-year post-divorce increase in standard of living for men.
Because divorce was considered to be against the public interest, civil courts refused to grant a divorce if evidence revealed any hint of complicity between the husband and wife to divorce, or if they attempted to manufacture grounds for a divorce. The National Association of Women Lawyers was instrumental in convincing the American Bar Association to help create a Family Law section in many state courts, and pushed strongly for no-fault divorce law around 1960 (cf. Richard Peterson later calculated a 27% decrease in standard of living for women and a 10% increase of standard of living for men, using the same data, which were gathered in California in 19.