Sutherland Newsletter – June 3, 2010


No-fault divorce in Utah has weakened the institution of marriage, perpetuated legal injustices, and exposed men, women, and children to a host of serious problems they otherwise may not have had to endure.


In Gambling Away Marriage in Utah: Why Utah Should Rethink No-fault Divorce, co-authors Bryce J. Christensen, Ph.D., and William C. Duncan, J.D., contend that legislators and responsible citizens who are serious about enhancing the quality of life for all Utahns should seek to end no-fault divorce.


“The no-fault divorce revolution may have been meant to help a small number of persistently unhappy or unhealthy marriages, but the legal changes it created have significantly weakened the institution not only for those who would have been inclined to divorce under the old fault regime, but for everyone,” Duncan claims.


In this latest publication of Sutherland Institute’s Center for Family and Society, the authors assert that, with sufficient political will, Utahns can turn back the clock on destructive no-fault divorce laws.  Although special interests that currently benefit from no-fault divorce will attempt to prevent or shut off public debate about reversing such laws, Utahns should not be deterred.


Historically, no-fault divorce laws were a radical change that received minimal public scrutiny, having been instituted by a relatively small group of collaborators.  The no-fault revolution has exposed thousands of men, women, and children to the harmful fallout of divorces that would not have occurred under traditional divorce law.


Co-author Bryce J. Christensen, Ph.D., is associate professor of English at Southern Utah University and adjunct fellow of Sutherland Institute’s Center for Family and Society.  He is a contributing editor to The Family in America and author of Divided We Fall: Family Discord and the Fracturing of America (Transaction, 2005).  He has also published articles on family issues inSocietyThe Public InterestPolicy ReviewModern Age, and other journals.


Co-author William C. Duncan, J.D., is director of the Marriage Law Foundation and is the director of Sutherland Institute’s Center for Family and Society.  He formerly served as acting director of the Marriage Law Project at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and as executive director of the Marriage and Family Law Research Grant at J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, where he was also a visiting professor.



Sutherland Institute is a pleased to be among the sponsors of the upcoming Fraud College Conference that will be held at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.  Conference participants will include representatives from the FBI, SEC, financial and legal organizations, academia, and religious communities.


A major objective of the conference will be to increase public awareness of the various types and strains of fraud being perpetrated today.  Speakers will confront the importance of equipping attendees with critical updates on fraud behavior, schemes and cases to ensure they will be well-prepared to recognize fraud.  The program will include interviews of ex-convicts telling their stories of how they “size-up” a victim.  In addition, a psychiatrist will give attendees a glimpse into the mind of a fraudster running a scam.


“In this era of deceptive investment schemes and fraudulent business relationships, Fraud College promises to help the community be its own first line of defense in the fight against fraud,” said Brent Baker, partner in the Securities Practice Group at Parsons Behle & Latimer and one of the board members of Fraud College.  “In particular, the conference will reinforce the need to be continually vigilant about ways to protect and educate citizens across the state of Utah.”


All Utahns are encouraged to attend this event.  For more information, please visit or contact Fraud College Public Affairs at or by telephone at 801-930-6500.