'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  

Kellen Funk

Columbia Law School

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

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

Funk, Kellen, 'Let No Man Put Asunder': South Carolina's Law of Divorce, 1895-1950 (June 1, 2009). The South Carolina Historical Magazine, vol. 110, no. 3-4 (July-October 2009): 134-153.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2601791

Kellen Funk (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10009

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