USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Petra Smith

First Advisor

Joy M. Clingman, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Thomas M. Mieczkowski, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Alexander T. Gimon, Ph.D.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



Historically, American divorce law across the various states was based upon the moral concept of fault. The uniform presumption in a divorce case was that the perpetrator spouse owed some type of compensation to the victim spouse. Of course, this gave rise to very spectacular, but often unnecessary, litigation. Throughout the years, with the growing number of divorce cases across the country, it became obvious that such litigation had a deleterious effect on the family, especially when children were involved. Thus, in an effort to address this problem, the concept of no-fault divorce began in California in 1969, with the Family Law Act. By 1985, all states offered some variation of no-fault divorce in at least some parts of the proceeding. Today, Florida is one of the states that utilizes no-fault law in all aspects of dissolution of marriage proceedings.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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