Social Consequences of Business Cycles

By Maurice Beck Hexter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE NUMBER OF DIVORCE LIBELS

ALL of the preceding series have dealt with the City of Boston. In the instance of divorce cases, we deal with Suffolk County. In 1920 Boston formed 89.53 per cent of the total population of that county,1 therefore, for all practical purposes, we are still dealing with the same population as heretofore. It must be noted, also, that we discuss the number of divorce libels filed and not the number of divorces granted. We have purposely selected the libels filed to escape the delay occasioned by legal procedure and practice. While it probably would have been possible to allow for this delay by the process of permitting the divorce curve to "lag," nevertheless such procedure would not have resulted in securing the same degree of homogeneity in the series pertaining to divorces as our method provides. Furthermore, while some divorce libels never culminate in divorces, it is more serviceable for the present purposes of this study to analyze the libels filed.2

____________________
1
The population of Suffolk County at the Census of 1920 was 835,522. This total is divided as follows: Boston, 748,060; Chelsea, 43,184; Revere, 28,823; Winthrop, 15,455.
2
"Applications for Divorce. The courts granted about three petitions out of every four filed. This proportion fluctuated considerably during the period 1900-22 the highest proportion of applications being granted in 1900 (89 per cent), and the lowest proportion in 1906 (67-1 per cent). During this entire period, 80.2 per cent of all applications were granted, .9 per cent were refused, and 18.9 per cent were dismissed. Contested Cases. Of the total number of applications for divorces during the twenty-three years from 1900 to 1922, only 10.2 per cent were contested. In 1922, of the 3733 applications for divorce, only 328, or 8.8 per cent, were contested, and of the 3277 divorces granted, 165, or 5 per cent, were contested. The proportion of contested cases is larger for divorces granted to the husband (6.6 per cent) than for those granted to the wife (4-5 per cent)." Annual Report of the Vital Statistics of Massachusetts for Year ending December 31, 1922, p. 174.

-86-

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Social Consequences of Business Cycles
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Author's Preface xiii
  • Contents xv
  • List of Charts xvii
  • List of Tables xxi
  • Part One 1
  • Chapter I - Introductory 3
  • Chapter II - The Birth-Rate 9
  • Chapter III - The Stillbirth-Rate 38
  • Chapter IV - The Death-Rate 48
  • Chapter V - The Number of Marriages 65
  • Chapter VI - The Number of Divorce Libels 86
  • Chapter VII - Summary of Part One 105
  • Part Two 123
  • Chapter VIII - Cyclical Correlations 125
  • Chapter IX - Social Aspects of the Origin Of Business Cycles 167
  • Appendix 177
  • Index 199
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