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One Year to Get a Divorce? Senate Bill Would Extend State's Waiting Period

Do you think Washington's current waiting period of 90 days is long enough? Let us know in the comments section.

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.

Do you think our state's divorce waiting period is long enough? Tell us in the comments section.

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.

Donna Salins February 17, 2013 at 06:37 PM
I couldn't agree with you more, Connie! A one year waiting period to get married is a super idea! Maybe when you purchase your marriage license, you could be educated and offered six or so marriage counseling sessions, too; but I haven't thought through the challenges regarding that entirely. It would be great if our legislators thought more like you. Wish we could stop addressing the symptoms = divorce and, rather than that, address the challenges, people don't often consider, prior to tying the knot. My current fiancee and myself were each married for approximately 30 years and feel it would have been beneficial to have had a one year waiting period with pre-marital counseling options offered. It may have saved all of our children and ourselves a lot of heartache.
Donna Salins February 17, 2013 at 06:41 PM
To clarify, I meant educated on options available to receive marriage counseling. So much money is spent on counseling after problems arise, rather than getting tools to handle common problems, encountered in marriage, ahead of time.
john_v_phipps February 18, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Interesting that 8 of the 10 sponsors of this bill are Republicans. The same party that often denounces the "left wing nanny state". I say maybe we need a one year waiting period between a bill's proposal and the legislative vote on that bill. And a requirement that a manual containing the proposed bill must be delivered to every registered voter within 90 days of the proposal. That way we, the voters, could know what our legislators are attempting to do to us.
Joseph March 02, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Brilliant. Now the government knows better on when people are ready for divorce. How about the government gets the hell out of my way. You cannot measure a relationship's ability to recover based upon some arbitrary time-line set in the sand.
Joseph March 02, 2013 at 01:19 AM
Definitely not. I would not call myself a Repubichairlican but definitely a conservative and this idea is the dumbest thing on the planet. These people are not conservatives. They are lost politically. And they have a bunch of dumb ideas. It's as if they have nothing but time to waste.

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