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New bill would extend divorce waiting period.

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New bill would extend divorce waiting period



Posted on February 11, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 6:09 AM


SEATTLE -- Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's new legislation that seeks to make it more difficult to get a divorce in Washington state.

Senate Bill 5614 would extend the waiting period for divorces from the current 90 days to a full year.  It's been dubbed the "Family Second Chances Act."

The bill, sponsored by Senator Don Benton and nine others, states in part:

"Divorce causes poverty, juvenile delinquency and lower scholastic achievement among children of our state.  Even a modest reduction of divorce in our state could be beneficial to children. 

The idea is that increasing the waiting period for a divorce will empower couples to think long and hard about their decision and possibly find ways to reconcile.

"I think maybe it's not such a good idea.  I think sometimes it's best to move on," said Rachel Martin, who owns Ballard Blossom.  "If you know it's not right, then why make someone drag it out for a year, you know?"

Martin and her staff are in the business of keeping couples together.  They also witness the impulsive decision often made in relationships, day in and day out.

"The other day we did. We had someone call who wanted to send dead flowers," a staffer said.  "He was really upset with his ex. His ex, I think, wanted to get a divorce or something like that."

In that regard, they understand why people might need a bit more time to contemplate a life-changing decision.

"That might not be such a a bad idea, because they might change their minds six months from now," said customer Daniel Turner.

Seattle divorce attorney Bruce Becker said the current 90 day waiting period seems like a reasonable cooling off period for couples. He's curious to see how the bill does in Olympia.

It's set to go before a senate committee Friday -- the day after Valentine's Day.


by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:07 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:47 PM

 It's not a big deal. In Maryland, it's a year seperation......and then proceedings can it can take up to 2 years.

by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:47 PM

In some ways its good in  other ways its bad.  If I were in an abusive relationship I wouldnt want to wait a yr to get out of the marriage.  If we were just having problems and thought divorce would solve them then a waiting period could be good and safe some marriages.

by Milami on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:47 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting eema.gray:

Because, you know, those battered wives (and husbands) really just need to sit down with their abusive spouses and think this decision over long and hard.  SMDH

 This is what I was thinking. I can't imagine having to stay married to someone for an entire year once the decision to divorce is made. When you make that decision it isn't one that is usually made willy nilly. People don't need a year to "re think" how they can stay together. In most cases, I'd venture to say they have tried multiple times to make it work and they just aren't able to.

by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Agree.  If the state has a vested interest in the scholastic and finacial sucess of the children, and divorce statistically hinders children, then people should think long and hard before entering INTO the legally binding contract of marriage.

Of course we all know that marriage is not a necessary precursor to children but for children who ARE affected by the dissolution of marriage, yes, the state can and should have a say in the circumstances leading up to marriage in the first place.  Worst thing that happens, people simply will opt out of civil marriage

Quoting FrogSalad:

I don't think most people are so cavalier about ending their marriages that a waiting period would save a significant portion of them.

Instead of trying to keep people in failing marriages, they should make it harder to get married.  Required pre-marriage counseling, for example, wherein couples have to explore what each expects in terms of delegation of responsibilities, children, religion, finances,  sex, "deal breakers", etc. 

"I am only one, but I am still one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~~ Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909
by Ruby Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:53 PM
1 mom liked this

how stupid. lets tie up people to their abusive exes and try and get them to stay together. Fucking ridiculous. 

by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this
I don't think the waiting period for divorce is the issue. There should be a longer waiting period to get married.
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by Platinum Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:57 PM
3 moms liked this

Legislators need to get the hell out of our bedrooms.

by Sevrsaxhtharxxa on Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:24 PM

well.. at least they are going after divorce now, instead of just focusing on same sex marriage....

still.. waste of tax money .

by Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:32 PM
1 mom liked this
My ex went to prison for aggravated battery for breaking my my eye socket and cruelty to children in third degree. I aplied for a divorse trew georgia legal services and there answer was.. They thought things could be worked out between us.. Wtf.. I was like seriosly I was also pregnant at the time.. This was 5 years ago I have not tried again..
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by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:11 PM
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I don't think a waiting period like the ones in states around me like MD and NC and VA have decreased amounts of divorce overall.  I do have an issue with the state's handbook stating divorce causes poverty, etc.  Divorce itself causes nothing but a divorce and some legal fees, less than the legal fees of a gross misdemeanor offense like DUI - people cause poverty, people simply refuse to be accountable to their responsibilities and the state is choosing not to take into consideration that there are many married couples in poverty already and the financial issues existing can lead to divorce.  When we force accountability and responsibility and start to instill it in our youngster's as a whole, we will see change in statistics.  

Personally, I don't think anyone comes to an agreement of divorce until all options and trying on at least one party have been exhausted.  It is simply a costly and concious decision (in my opinion).

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