Potential Running Mate Carson: End No-Fault Divorce

Ben Carson sees harm to society
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2024 11:55 AM CDT
Another Republican Calls to End No-Fault Divorce
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and his wife, Candy, listen to former President Trump speak during a rally on Oct. 29 in Sioux City, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Ben Carson, considered to be on the short list for former President Trump's running mate, is the latest Republican to call for an end to no-fault divorce, which has allowed marriages to dissolve without much fanfare for more than 50 years. "For the sake of families, we should enact legislation to remove or radically reduce incidences of no-fault divorce," the former Trump Cabinet member writes in his book, The Perilous Fight, out Tuesday, per HuffPost. He suggests no-fault divorce, in which a marriage can be dissolved without either party admitting wrongdoing, makes it too easy for couples to call it quits "when their marriage hits a rough patch." He claims these people "often don't consider" the harm "inflicted on their children once a divorce is finalized."

Couples could first claim a no-fault divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences" as the cause, under reforms enacted in California in 1969. Until that time, couples seeking a divorce needed to prove misconduct, like adultery or domestic violence, NBC News reports. All 50 states went on to adopt the policy, which benefited women in particular, "furthering women's financial, social, and professional independence, as well as their safety," per Mother Jones. A 2004 study found female suicides decreased 8% to 16%, intimate partner violence decreased 30%, and the rate of women murdered by their partners fell 10% after no-fault divorce laws were enacted, per CNN.

The law meant couples could "avoid expensive and protracted litigation, as well as the damaging effects of having to cast, prove, or defend from blame," per CNN. No-fault divorce can be easier on children as a result, a certified divorce coach tells the outlet. Yet House Speaker Mike Johnson previously claimed no-fault divorce contributed to the creation of a "completely amoral society" in which a young person might "open fire on their classmates." Conservative activists and Republican lawmakers including Sen. JD Vance are increasingly adopting such arguments. According to Mother Jones, "the official GOP party platforms in Texas and Nebraska call for ending no-fault divorce." And in Oklahoma in January, a GOP state senator introduced legislation to that effect, per NBC. (More no-fault divorce stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.