A bill that would lengthen the divorce waiting period from 90 days to one year in Washington was heard Friday in the state Senate Law and Justice Committee.
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Senate Bill 5614 cites "poverty, juvenile delinquency, and lower scholastic achievement among children of our state" caused by divorce and argues: "Even a modest reduction of divorce in our state could be beneficial to children."
As the Associated Press reports, the measure would also require couples to read a court-issued handbook that contains information on reconciliation.
Washington state's divorce rate was 4.2 per 1,000 residents in 2010, the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national rate was 6.8 per 1,000 that same year—the lowest figure in at least a decade.
Divorce waiting periods vary by state, with only three requiring a wait or one year or longer, according to the AP.