Law: Split Decisions

Divorce and consequences

With the spread of marital breakups, divorce American-style is cracking open a widening set of legal problems. Divorce is now a simple enough procedure in almost every state. But as three quite different recent cases show, the consequences of the split can challenge the creativity of the courts.

Take the question of who should get what after Mark and Janet Sullivan parted. During most of their ten-year marriage, Janet, now 35, worked while Mark trained to be a doctor. Then in 1978, just before Mark set up his urology practice, Janet moved out, and divorce followed. As the couple divided...

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