'Let No Man Put Asunder': South Carolina's Law of Divorce, 1895-1950
The South Carolina Historical Magazine, vol. 110, no. 3-4 (July-October 2009): 134-153.
29 Pages Posted: 12 May 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2009
From the colonial era until 1950 (with a brief intermission during Reconstruction) South Carolina entirely forbid divorce among its citizens, constitutionally enshrining the prohibition in 1895. With increased mobility at the turn of the twentieth century and the rise of "divorce havens," foreign (or migratory) divorce became an increasing problem that troubled state family law. For a time, it appeared the Supreme Court might favor South Carolina-type restrictions on divorce against full faith and credit in migratory divorce decrees. When that window definitively closed with the Williams v. North Carolina cases in 1948, South Carolina lawyers acted quickly to permit divorce on the state's own terms.
Keywords: south carolina, divorce, foreign divorce, family law
JEL Classification: K19, K39, J12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation