Domestic Relations: Once Again into the Breach


Breach-of-promise suits were quite the rage in the '30s. The idea was that in those genteel times, the supposedly defenseless female was at the mercy of caddish men who made promises and then sneaked away. If one could prove that the promises had been about marriage, the tab for mental suffering and the like could run as high as $200,000.

But eventually female emancipation and equality eased social mores. Nowadays, few breach-of-promise suits are filed, because few women will admit to being that naive. In fact, about a third of the 50 states no longer allow such litigation. Not including...

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