Presentation Title

Dividing the House: Divorce and the Great Depression in Aurora, Illinois

Project Type

Event

Abstract

American conceptions of love and duty in the marriage construct shaped not only the way that men and women married, but also the way that they divorced. The fault-based system of divorce, along with the prevailing gender roles of the time impacted the way couples split during the 1930's. Men and women brought cases to the Illinois 16th Circuit Court with admissible reasons for pursuing a divorce and requests for specific gains in the settlement. However, while both parties suffered emotionally from divorce, husbands and wives carried very different socioeconomic needs and roles into the court. The divorce cases that took place between Aurora couples provide a close account of how marriages were dissolved: why people pursued a divorce in the first place, what kind of financial support and supplies they wanted from the house, and what decisions the judges made. Examination of over three hundred divorce cases from Aurora, Illinois reveals both commonalities in divorce practice and the inner complexities of the relationships that suffered.

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Apr 20th, 1:50 PM

Dividing the House: Divorce and the Great Depression in Aurora, Illinois

Benner Library Fishbowl

American conceptions of love and duty in the marriage construct shaped not only the way that men and women married, but also the way that they divorced. The fault-based system of divorce, along with the prevailing gender roles of the time impacted the way couples split during the 1930's. Men and women brought cases to the Illinois 16th Circuit Court with admissible reasons for pursuing a divorce and requests for specific gains in the settlement. However, while both parties suffered emotionally from divorce, husbands and wives carried very different socioeconomic needs and roles into the court. The divorce cases that took place between Aurora couples provide a close account of how marriages were dissolved: why people pursued a divorce in the first place, what kind of financial support and supplies they wanted from the house, and what decisions the judges made. Examination of over three hundred divorce cases from Aurora, Illinois reveals both commonalities in divorce practice and the inner complexities of the relationships that suffered.