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In the mid-20th Century, some Americans[1] traveled to Mexico to obtain a "Mexican divorce".[2] A divorce in Mexico was easier, quicker, and less expensive than a divorce in most U.S. states.[how?] Celebrities who obtained a Mexican divorce include Johnny Carson, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor (from Eddie Fisher), Marilyn Monroe (from Arthur Miller), Don Hewitt, Charlie Chaplin (from Paulette Goddard), Jayne Mansfield (from Mickey Hargitay), Stanley Kubrick, and Tom T. Chamales.

It was often referred to as a quickie (sometimes spelled quicky) Mexican divorce.

Mexico does not require spouses to be present at a divorce hearing; they can send a lawyer to represent them. This "fast-track" process is in contrast to American divorce procedures, which involve additional bureaucracy and added expense.

In 1970, in accordance with a Mexican federal law recommendation,[why?] many courts stopped accepting divorce petitions from non-residents. Accordingly, petitioners must be selective in their choice of court. With the advent of no-fault divorce in the United States, Mexican divorces are not as popular as they once were.[citation needed]

In popular cultureEdit

The Mexican divorce is mentioned in the Jack Kerouac book On the Road.

"Mexican Divorce" is the title of a 1961 song by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard, which was issued as single in 1962 by The Drifters.[3] The song would be remade by Ry Cooder on his 1974 album Paradise and Lunch[4] and by Nicolette Larson on her 1978 album Nicolette.[5] Mexican divorce is also referenced in the song "What Do You Want from Life?" by The Tubes[6] and in the Tom Waits song "The Part You Throw Away".[7]

A reference to a Mexican quickie divorce is also made in the episode "Up in Barney's Room" of The Andy Griffith Show (season 4, episode 10). Mexican divorces were also plot twists in several episodes of the legal drama Perry Mason.

A Mexican divorce and a marriage are central to the plot of the 1965 movie Marriage on the Rocks. The Mexican Government was offended by the film's depiction of Mexico[8] and banned the film and other Sinatra films for what they regarded as a derogatory depiction of the nation.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Rosenstiel v Rosenstiel". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  2. ^ "The Perils of Mexican Divorce". Time. December 27, 1963. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  3. ^ "Mexican Divorce by The Drifters Songfacts". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Paradise and Lunch - Ry Cooder - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times 4 November 1978 "Last Stab at Alternative Top Ten" by Robert Hilburn p.II-9
  6. ^ "What Do You Want From Life, Tubes Lyrics". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Tom Waits – The Part You Throw Away". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  8. ^ p.129 Oliver, Mike Mike Oliver's Acapulco iUniverse
  9. ^ p.56 Zolov, Eric Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture University of California Press