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The National Educational ready o network presents a law in the news with Professor Joseph R. Julan associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School. Our subject marriage and divorce our informant once again he's getting to be a regular PROFESSOR WILLIAM J peers the president of the Commission on the uniform state laws. Bill the body you now had in the commission was organized in 1892. It had a single charge to provide uniform law proposals for the statutes governing the marital relationship as far as I can tell on this one the commission has been a complete bust. And I wondered exactly why and if there is any contemporary justification for the marriage and divorce laws of New York to be so far different from those of Nevada. Well the problem is the one that's been with us for a long time and as you mentioned when the commissioners were first starting nice in 1892 it was then a problem as you know the rights duties and privileges of all of
us in the family relationship grow out of marriage and whether or not there is a valid marriage. Certain rights and duties and obligations and flow if a valid marriage is found to exist. With an increasing mobile population of course the subject has become of even greater concern. Now why haven't we done anything about it previously. Well frankly we ran into a great deal of political difficulty with respect to any proposals in this area for the first time. It now appears as if some common agreements can be reached about the status of marriage in the American society. There's less opposition from religious organizations and there's been in the past. And therefore we're extremely hopeful of providing a uniform marriage and divorce law throughout the United States. The present time for example there are also status requirements before persons can be married. Take for example one little situation with respect to age in Michigan a male
can marry at the age of 18. And many other states you cannot marry until he's 21. Similar discrepancies exist with respect to females. There are also various requirements with respect to physical health and mental health standards varied tremendously. And then we end up in our present situation in which certain types of marriage is being called void. In the fact that they never existed they were void from the beginning because certain qualifications were and weren't met. Others are called voidable which can be set aside by a number of proceedings. The result is the children of these marriages. Never Neverland from the standpoint of legal status although we have tried through many other efforts to legitimate those children. The fact is that the present time. The situation is so confused that many of our statutes frankly recognize this and even take into account what we might even call the informal marriage. Now our
problem has been that for the rich of course they could escape to Nevada or to Mexico for divorce and rearrangement of their lives. But for the poor This has not been possible so we have a large part of our society that is living under informal arrangements. So the National Conference now proposes to undertake the drafting of a uniform marriage and divorce statute first to decide what kinds of views this just controls society should exercise over you for marriages as an example. We know that there's a tremendous breakdown in youthful marriages but what kinds of rules should society impose with respect to when can a young person get married. And as you know many of these marriages the wife is pregnant at the time of the marriage what you do what you do about the support problems of the family and that type of case. The other thing of course is the breakdown of the marriage what happens when we do have that situation. The present time our laws are based around doctrine. Somebody has got to be wrong. But 90 percent of our divorces
are non contested. But where there is a contest on both sides for example in some states show fault and of course in an ordinary marriage that is apt to exist. But then no divorce can be given because both are at fault. We are looking toward the idea of let's look at the marriage as a whole. If it has broken down let's dissolve the marriage legally. If you have some ideas on what the laws on marriage and divorce should say. Right Professor William J Piers University of Michigan Law School Professor Joseph Farr Julan associate dean of the University of Michigan Law School as presented law in the news recorded by the University of Michigan broadcasting services. This is the national educational radio network.
Law in the news
Marriage and divorce
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program discusses marriage, divorce, and the law.
Series Description
This series focuses on current news stories that relate to the law.
Broadcast Date
Public Affairs
Politics and Government
Media type
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Julin, Joseph R.
Speaker: Pierce, William J. (William James), 1921-2004
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35a-414 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:05:02
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Chicago: “Law in the news; Marriage and divorce,” 1969-05-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Law in the news; Marriage and divorce.” 1969-05-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Law in the news; Marriage and divorce. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from