Last week, we discussed how a no-fault divorce can prove to be an extremely cost-effective manner for couples in Texas to end their marriage. No fault-divorce laws were first passed in the 1960s, and now every state allows individuals to pursue divorce in this manner.
An important aspect of no-fault divorce laws is that they allow an individual to file for divorce without the consent of their spouse. This is very significant because prior to these laws, couples had to either agree on ending a marriage or one spouse had to prove that another spouse was cheating, abusive, etc in order to proceed forward toward happier or healthier living circumstances.
In some instances, this meant that a spouse could be locked into a dysfunctional relationship when the other spouse refused divorce. It also meant that in some instances, a spouse afraid to report abuse was stuck. When no-fault divorce laws went into effect, domestic violence began to decrease as spouses were afforded a way out without the consent of their abuser.
Some argue that high divorce rates across the country remain steady because it is too “easy” to get divorced when there are no-fault options. However, there is nothing easy about ending a marriage. It is often a long, hard road that leads an individual to decide to end their marriage. It is a decision to be heavily weighed.
In fact, a bill was introduced to much opposition in Iowa that would prohibit no-fault divorces for couples with minor children so that young kids would not be negatively impacted by a divorce. The bill will not be heard this legislative season, but many argue that a combative home life is far more detrimental than a divorce. Some researchers even conclude that easier divorce options result in higher quality marriages.
Further, there are countless studies that indicate a child of divorce is not doomed to an unhappy future. All of this is to say that not all marriages work out as hoped when a couple walked down the aisle. Ending a marriage is not a decision to be taken lightly, but there are several avenues and options that a family law attorney can help an individual explore so that he or she does not feel locked into an unhappy marriage.
Source: The Washington Times, "No-fault divorce laws save lives," Myra Fleischer, May 16, 2013