No-fault divorce, covenant marriage, and domestic violence
When some people decide that their marriage is finished, they want to get the divorce finalized as soon as possible. If some lawmakers have their way, quickie divorces might be a thing of the past. These lawmakers want to institute cooling off periods and other requirements for people who desire to divorce. Some people who are against these changes say that if a couple wants to reconcile, it can happen through remarriage after the divorce. Remarriage, however, occurs with only approximately 6 percent of people who divorce.
No-fault divorces have become popular across the country, but they weren’t always an option. Historically, parties had to prove a reason for a divorce. It wasn’t until 1969 when one state instituted no-fault divorce that they were an option. No-fault divorces were legalized in 49 states by 1985 with the final state joining the rest only four years ago.
Most states have a two to three month cooling off period to give couples a chance to reconcile. Some states are trying to do away with the no-fault divorce for parents. In Texas, the cooling off period is 60 days from the day of filing the Original Petition of Divorce. After the 60 day cooling off period, the Final Decree can be issued. Texas also still allows for no-fault divorce on the basis of insupportability or after three years of separation without cohabitation.
No-fault divorces have been a success in terms of helping to control domestic violence, according to a study done by Stanford University. The study says that domestic violence went down by one third in a decade, the number of suicides by women dropped, and the number of husbands who were convicted of murdering their wives also dropped.
Since 2011, Texas lawmakers have tried to make covenant marriage the law. Some people don’t agree with the covenant marriage concept, which makes it more difficult to get a divorce. They believe that trying to go through mandatory classes or having to wait for a cooling off period to pass simply adds more frustration to a situation that is already frustrating enough. Others warn that these could harm children because of the lengthy process.
Anyone who needs to get a divorce in Texas must make sure they understand how to file in Texas. Knowing what to expect can help you as you go through the process.
Source: Newsday, “Keyes: Conservatives are out to destroy your divorce” Scott Keyes, Apr. 14, 2014