Now who is Harry Fain, and why is he interesting to me?
Not because he represented celebrity divorce clients such as Elvis Presley, Cary Grant, Lee Majors, Rod Steiger, OJ’s first wife.
It’s because he, as a result of his effortful promotion, saw No-fault Divorce come about in California on January 1, 1970. Also the onset of the state’s laws of Community Property and the creation of a statewide Family Courts system. He had been appointed to a government Commission on the Family by then governor Pat Brown, charged with finding new solutions to always present divorce wars.
Before that, it was possible to discover the reasons for the breakdown of marriages. For example, read how Arnold Gold, Esq. obtained his divorce from Mrs. Gold, and later obtained custody of their three children (see the side-bar).
It should be noted that Fain also got his divorce before no-fault, in the early 1950’s. His wife won custody of their three children, and later, just as Gold did, he got that ruling reversed in his favor. Frankly, I cannot be bothered to check out his case at the Hall of Public Records to find out how he was motivated, as I did with (now Judge) Gold. I’ll bet they were close friends.
I believe "no-fault" in many cases is nothing but a cover-up of serious reasons behind breaches of the marriage contract and breaches of property rights, and should be examined and put on the record for all to see, perhaps serving as a warning for future betrothments. Now it seldom gets dealt with. "Not probative" is the usual excuse.
It should be dealt with the same as any other contractual matter, in Civil Court, in front of a jury. The system wasn’t "broken" before the Fains and other lawyers got on board in, I believe, their own self interest. Now in charge is a fellow lawyer called a judge, and no jury, and the public kept in the dark, and lots of available money on the emotional table.
Harry Fain, Esq. died on Friday the 13th, yesterday, aged 88. Read his obituary here.