Fifty years ago this week, Ronald Reagan made what he later admitted was one of the worst mistakes of his political life: As governor of California, he signed a bill bringing no-fault divorce to his state.
California was the first state to take the plunge, but by no means the last. Reagan's signature unleashed what became a national divorce revolution.
Within five years, 44 states would follow suit and pass some form of no-fault divorce.
Many lawmakers who pushed for it had fine intentions. At the time, the divorce regime had become a sham that made a mockery of the legal system. Because a judge had to find “fault” in one spouse to grant a divorce, spouses would often make phony allegations against each other, sometimes even working in tandem to fool a judge into granting them a divorce.