Two sisters from Reno, Nevada recently spoke to the media about their life growing up on one of Nevada’s Divorce Ranches. So, what’s a “Divorce Ranch” ?
In the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s spouses seeking a “quickie divorce” came to Nevada, where with a six week residency, a divorce could be obtained. In 1940, 49 out of every 1000 divorces in the United States were Nevada divorces. Celebrities like Mary Pickford, Rita Hayworth and Gloria Vanderbilt obtained their divorces Nevada-style. The Whitney Ranch provided accommodation for the six week residency period for wealthy women, mainly from New Jersey and New York. They affectionately called it the “Reno Cure”. Columnist Walter Winchell called these divorces “Reno-vations”. The impact on Reno’s economy was welcomed as bars, hotels and restaurants reaped the benefit of vacationing spouses.
The sisters reminisced about the many women that lived at the Ranch some arriving with their male “cousins”, who they married after their divorce was granted. In fact, one of the sisters, divorced from her first husband, married the ex-husband of a woman who stayed at the Divorce Ranch.
The Divorce Ranch was strictly on the “up and up” though. Many of the women requested that the matriarch of the Ranch testify that the putative divorcee had been at the Ranch for six weeks, when it had only been two weeks. That was a no-go.
Today, the “quickie divorce” in Nevada requires a joint application by both husband and wife. Not always possible. So, how about a Guam divorce? There is a residency requirement but nobody paid attention to it until 2006. Today you need to stay seven days. A nice little vacation. Unlike divorces from the Dominican Republic and Mexico, a Guam divorce is recognized in the United States.
It’s more difficult for a Canadian to obtain a “quickie divorce” in Guam because Canadian law requires that one of the spouses have a ” real and substantial connection” to Guam, which translates to a one year residency requirement.
Trust the Canadians to throw cold water on Operation Freedom- Guam.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang