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## Sidebar

Here's an example to illustrate the proposition that, when couples can negotiate, no-fault and mutual consent lead to the same number of divorces. John would be willing to pay \$7 to stay married; his wife, Mary, would be willing to pay \$5 for a divorce. Meanwhile, Tom would be willing to pay \$12 for a divorce; his wife, Gerri, would be willing to pay \$10 to stay married. If everyone lives in a no-fault state, Mary and Tom can both threaten to walk away from their marriages. But John can offer Mary \$6 (or the equivalent in other concessions) to stick around. No such deal is possible between Tom and Gerri; her top offer of \$10 won't meet his minimum asking price of \$12. Net result: John and Mary stay married; Tom and Gerri get divorced. On the other hand, if everyone lives in a mutual consent state, John and Gerri can threaten to hold their marriages together. But Tom can pay Gerri \$11 for a divorce. No such deal is possible between John and Mary; her top offer of \$5 won't meet his minimum asking price of \$7. Net result: John and Mary stay married; Tom and Gerri get divorced--exactly the same result we'd get under no-fault.