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Separating the termination of a marriage from controversies over spousal support, child custody and division of marital property is not a new idea. In Hull v. Superior Court (1960) 54 Cal.2d 139 [5 Cal.Rptr. 1, 352 P.2d 161], the Supreme Court explained the concept of 'divisible divorce' as follows: 'Severance of a personal relationship which the law has found to be unworkable and, as a result, injurious to the public welfare is not dependent upon final settlement of property disputes. Society will be little concerned if the parties engage in property litigation of however long duration; it will be much concerned if two people are forced to remain legally bound to one another when this status can do nothing but engender additional bitterness and unhappiness.' (Id., at pp. 147-148.)


This philosophy was incorporated into the Family Law Act (Civ. Code, § 4000 et seq., operative Jan. 1, 1970) which removed the issue of marital fault from domestic relations litigation. (In re Marriage of Fink (1976) 54 Cal.App.3d 357 [126 Cal.Rptr. 626].) '[The] new Family Law Act embodied a legislative intent that the dissolution of marriage should not be postponed merely because issues relating to property, ...

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