Ben Carson Calls For End To No-Fault Divorce

Ben Carson is joining the chorus of conservatives who want to do away with no-fault divorce.

In his new book, “The Perilous Fight,” the former cabinet member for Donald Trump writes, “For the sake of families, we should enact legislation to remove or radically reduce incidences of no-fault divorce.”

Carson, who is said to be on the short list for Trump’s vice presidential pick, continues, “The reason this matters is that no-fault divorce legally allows marriages to end much more quickly than in previous decades.”

He goes on, “When there are relatively few legal or financial consequences connected with divorce, it’s natural for people to gravitate toward that option when their marriage hits a rough patch.”

“What those people often don’t consider, however, is the harm — both present and future — inflicted on their children once a divorce is finalized.”

Ben Carson campaigns for Donald Trump in Iowa on January 11. In his new book, he calls for restrictions on no-fault divorce.
Ben Carson campaigns for Donald Trump in Iowa on January 11. In his new book, he calls for restrictions on no-fault divorce.

Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

Couples who seek a no-fault divorce, allowed under reforms first enacted in the U.S. in 1969 by then-California Gov. Ronald Regan, do not need to prove wrongdoing, like adultery or domestic abuse, to be divorced.

In the years since, all 50 states have adopted the policy, giving people the option of citing “irreconcilable differences” as the cause of divorce.

No-fault divorce is thought to have had a profound impact on the lives of women. One 2004 study found a drop in domestic violence and suicide rates for women once no-fault divorce became an option.

Carson is not the first Republican politician to flirt with making divorce more difficult to obtain.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), in a 2016 sermon, claimed the introduction of no-fault divorce led to the rise of a “completely amoral society.” Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) also endorsed ending the option.



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