MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

September 11, 2013

Senator eyes counseling requirement


— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican state senator who wants to reduce Oklahoma’s high divorce rate said Tuesday he’s mulling a plan to require mandatory counseling before a couple can file for divorce in the state.

Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, the vice chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, held an interim study on the topic because the state continues to land near the top of U.S. rankings for its divorce rate.

Although divorce rates nationwide have fallen steadily over the past two decades, Oklahoma’s rate — 5.2 per 1,000 residents — outpaced all but three other states in 2011, the latest data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.