MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

February 4, 2014

Divorce bill doesn’t fix the problem

State Rep. Arthur Hulbert’s proposal to curb divorces misses the mark.

Doubling the waiting period  for most divorces — which is what Hulbert’s plan calls for — won’t solve the high divorce rate.

We don’t see how this benefits the community.

Divorces can be contentious, and the longer they go on, the more of a chance there is to hurt children.

Hulbert says Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, and it’s one of the easiest places to get a divorce.

Hulbert told the Phoenix his efforts turned up several states with waiting periods ranging from a year to two years. Some of those states have lower divorce rates, but others have divorce rates that equal or only slightly lower than the divorce rate in Oklahoma.

Hulbert believes his bill will help strengthen families and give them time to rethink reconciliation. But most people who file for divorce already have thought about it for quite awhile. Three more months just prolongs the process.

We agree with Hulbert that there are too many divorces.

But the problem isn’t divorces. The problem is people.

Marriage is not something to rush into.

Another problem is readily available counseling for married couples who are facing problems.

Outside of church, marital counseling is very hard to get and out of reach for most couples. If it were readily available, that would stand a greater chance to lower the divorce rate than extending the waiting period by three months.

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