According to History.com, on January 5, 1643, in the first record of a legal divorce in the American colonies, Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a divorce from her absent and adulterous husband, Denis Clarke, by the Quarter Court of Boston, Massachusetts. In a signed and sealed affidavit presented to John Winthrop Jr., the son of the colony’s founder, Denis Clarke admitted to abandoning his wife, with whom he had two children, for another woman, with whom he had another two children. He also stated his refusal to return to his original wife, thus giving the Puritan court no option but to punish Clarke and grant a divorce to his wife, Anne. The Quarter Court’s final decision read: “Anne Clarke, beeing deserted by Denis Clarke hir husband, and hee refusing to accompany with hir, she is graunted to bee divorced.”
The History of Divorces across time and around the world relate similar stories of legal and complicated issues, whether one is eligible for divorce, and include today’s challenges around spousal, child support and wife returning to her maiden name.
Time has though seen changes in legalisation and new approved legislations and are recognised for widespread reasons.
Divorce though is still very much traumatic event whereby people have to engage in a legal process for an emotional decision.
Awareness needs to be raised that such an emotional decision needs to be addressed emotionally first before the legal dissolution can be approached. So while most people are still engaging in this life changing event in a very conflicted manner, options and resources are now available to facilitate divorces in a much more caring manner, focusing on solutions and healing.
People wanting to divorce have a choice and can veer away from the all too common “bad divorce” scenario in favour to a divorce process which will actually address the needs of a changing family. MEDIATION offers an alternative as a sensible solution to their emotional decision.
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