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Changes to Georgia Divorce Would Make Separation Harder

Posted on Apr 21, 2014

If some lawmakers have their way, getting a divorce could be harder than i

The Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, along with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, are trying to make it more difficult for couples to get a divorce.

Some states have already implemented laws that require couples to go through an extended waiting period before they can formally split. Although Georgia has not changed its divorce laws yet, there is still a possibility that future laws could force couples to go through counseling before they are able to sign their divorce papers.

Some politicians argue that having fewer divorces is economically advantageous. Historically, Americans have had a very difficult time getting divorced. In the 1800s, some states required that divorces be sanctioned by a two-thirds vote in the legislature before they could be finalized. More recently, judges had to approve divorces. Often, this restriction required couples to go to great lengths to get their divorce approved by the judge.

While lawmakers are not trying to return to the days of burdensome divorce laws, many seek to eliminate the no-fault divorces that they believe can be costly for couples. Still, some statistics show that eliminating this option could be more harmful than helpful.

A study by Stanford University found that no-fault divorces reduced domestic violence by over 30 percent, husbands murdering their wives by 10 percent, and suicide rates among married women by 11 to 19 percent. Another study by the Center for American Progress found that only 28 percent of divorced women regretted getting a divorce.

Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.

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