What IS it about South Carolina? The South Carolina Paradox
These ideas constituted a theory of divorce based on marital breakdown. In 1969, California became the first state to abolish its old fault-based statute and allow divorce only for breakdown. The UMDA, developed by the NCCUSL, offered a model statute that stimulated legislators to examine traditional divorce laws. Today couples can get non-fault divorces throughout the United States (Elrod 1995).10 Along with breakdown, nonfault grounds include incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, and separation. With separation, divorce usually is granted after the couple has lived apart for a specified period, usually one or two years (although Montana and Louisiana allow divorce after a six-month separation). In some states, such as Kansas, incompatibility is a more traditional non-fault ground than separation. Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia made marital breakdown the only grounds for divorce.