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42 Fam. L.Q. 419 (2008-2009)
Changes in the Economic Consequences of Divorces, 1958-2008

handle is hein.journals/famlq42 and id is 435 raw text is: Changes in the Economic Consequences
of Divorces, 1958-2008
Marriage is not a simple love affair; it's an ordeal, and the ordeal
is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become
I. Introduction
It is common knowledge that fewer Americans are successfully com-
pleting the ordeal described above by Joseph Campbell; the divorce rate
has increased significantly in the past half century. I have been asked by
the issue editor to write some comments about the changes in the eco-
nomic consequences of divorce over the past fifty years. This is, of course,
a huge topic; I at most will be able only to offer some observations.
Changes in the economic consequences of divorce over the past half
century have been caused by both societal changes and legal changes. I
will first survey some relevant societal changes, and then review certain
legal changes during that period. I will then speculate upon how the rules
applicable to the economic consequences of divorce might change in the
* John Freeman Professor of Law, University of Houston Law School. The author would
like to thank Jacqueline Bertrand, Stephanie Cecere, Emery Ellis, Josiah Normand, Sean
Palavan, and Khatidja Sofi for terrific and cheerful student research assistance. The author
would also like to thank Phong Le, Amanda Parker, and Abraham Roberts for careful word-pro-
cessing help. The author is indebted to his colleagues Barbara Atwood, Nick Bala, Peg Brinig,
Max Eichner, Linda Elrod, Alice Brokars Kelly, Calvin Pang, Carol Rogerson, and Bob
Spector, who provided information or feedback regarding prior drafts of this paper.

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