Dissolution of marriage in westernized countries

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Ever since the French Revolution, Europe, North America and other westernized countries have been split into two camps: a progressive one, inspired by the ideology of the Enlightenment, and a conservative one which aspires to preserve or restore traditional family forms and values. This chapter focuses on the ideological, political and socio-economic context of the policy challenges surrounding the divorce reforms in Europe and North America rather than on the positive law on divorce. It illustrates that in the jurisdictions with relatively restrictive divorce laws, such as England and Wales France, Italy and where liberalization of divorce used to be a big issue, have suddenly introduced sweeping liberation, by providing for private or administrative procedures for uncontested cases. The law on divorce was deeply affected by the sex and gender revolutions which occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. Sweden was the first Western European country to radically liberalize its divorce law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy
EditorsJohn Eekelaar, Rob George
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781003058519
ISBN (Print)9780367195526
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbook Series

Bibliographical note

1st edition: 2014.


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