Harry Gruener on “Mad Men”

Professor Harry Gruener was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on how the poppular TV program “Mad Men” mischaracterizes the history of divorce in New York:

In the early 1960s, the post-Camelot era in which “Mad Men” is set, amicable couples had to participate in a charade before the court. Often, husband and wife had to pretend to have participated in bad behaviors such as adultery, physical or psychological abuse in order to “prove” grounds for divorce.

Naturally, the court cast a dim view on these false testimonies, but it was the only way to have the divorce granted.

“If both didn’t want to have ‘grounds,’ it was denied. How stupid was that?” said Harry Gruener, who heads the Family Law Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


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