Proposed Bill Would Make Divorce More Difficult and Expensive

May 26, 2017 Posted in Divorce, Our Blog

One Texas State Representative closed out 2016 by proposing two Bills, according to an article in San Antonio Current:

  • One bill more than doubles the waiting time for divorce finalization.
  • The other would eliminate no-fault divorce by removing the insupportabilty (often known as no-fault) grounds option.

While the Representative claims that divorce deterrence is not his goal, the bill would likely stop many couples from ending marriages that cannot be fixed. Any Dallas divorce attorney might question whether these steps would lead to happier marriages — or cause damage to both parties, not to mention their children.

A Requirement to Prove Fault Can Lead to Unnecessary Pain and Financial Strife

On the surface, the concept of making divorce more difficult may seem admirable, but removing the no-fault ground of insupportability automatically leads to contentious battles by forcing one party to blame the other. The end results are as follows:

  • Divorce becomes more expensive. The filing party must now create an evidence-based case while the other party must build a defense. These requirements add significant time and expense to the process.
  • It does not serve the best interests of the children. Contentious divorce creates unhappy parents who transmit their stress to the children, even when they attempt to avoid it. Additionally, if parents who cannot resolve their issues end the divorce process, children often live in their homes witnessing parents who do not get along.
  • It can remove a vital outlet for spouses in abusive relationships. Keeping in mind that emotional abuse is more common than physical abuse, abusers are less likely to agree to fault-based divorce than ending a marriage without alleging fault.

Longer Waiting Periods Do Not Typically Lead to Resolution

Texas law already establishes a 61-day waiting period under most circumstances, but there is no particular evidence that an even longer waiting period would provide spouses with an opportunity to resolve their issues. In the majority of cases, extending the waiting period would simply prolong the suffering of spouses and their children while they wait to begin happier new lives.

At this point, the bills have not been signed into law, but early signs indicate that one or both bills might potentially be passed in some form. Even if they are approved, however, an experienced divorce lawyer can help find ways to make the process as simple as possible while reducing the stress. Regardless of the bill’s final outcome, there are many way to simplify the divorce process. Contact us to learn how we can help.