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Should Texas adopt a longer divorce waiting period?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2011 | Divorce

There are many benefits to living in Texas. We’ve got great people, great culture, great food and more. Some people see a benefit in Texas divorce law, which allows parties to divorce more quickly than in many other states. We have seen examples of this in celebrity divorces like Sandra Bullock’s and Eva Longoria’s.

Couples can basically be divorced here within 60 days of filing. Many who have gone through the relatively quick process appreciate the speed with which they can move on with their fresh starts. Currently, a proposal is in the works that seeks to do away with short waiting and processing periods.

According to sources, legal and social science professionals have come together to propose controversial legislation called the “Second Chances Act.” The act is meant to prevent salvageable marriages from being ended by divorce. Its supporters see the proposal as a way to protect the well-being of children who reportedly suffer more distress in these types of divorces involving parents whose relationships are not extremely negative.

When his parents’ marriage seems fine, with no sign of serious problems, a child will often wind up more confused compared to a more extreme case as a result of the split. Part of the “Second Chance Act” is also that it will give struggling couples who might not be completely sold on the idea of divorce a real shot at saving their marriages.

If the proposal were enacted, couples would have to wait a year before their divorce could be finalized. Each partner would be required to attend parenting classes and also learn about how to potentially reconcile their relationship with their spouse before filing. If it’s one partner initiating the divorce, he would have to notify his spouse of the looming divorce filing so the couple has a chance to work on the marriage before a divorce process officially begins.

Those who are for this sort of mandatory waiting period say that saving marriages would save government money. Research shows that the majority of people who receive government assistance are single parents. But, argue some critics, sometimes money isn’t the goal. Freedom is. Shouldn’t adults have the ability to make grown-up choices and get out of a marriage that they feel isn’t right for them?

It’s important to note that the proposed legislation does leave room for quicker divorces involving domestic violence, adultery and other serious issues that could put someone at risk. Even with that loophole, do you think that there should be a mandatory waiting period for divorce?


The Washington Times: “Divorce-prevention plan advises time, talk,” Cheryl Wetzstein, Oct. 23, 2011


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