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Longer Waiting Period for Divorce in North Carolina

Originally posted by John Clark/revised by Stephanie Fling

Let’s be clear…making divorce more difficult does not make marriages happier.

I’ve never had a client ask to have to wait longer for a divorce. But it seems North Carolina believes it is best to make a stressful situation last as long as possible.

A bill circulating in the North Carolina Senate would force married couples to wait for two years before filing for divorce, according to a report this week from the Hickory Daily Record.

The “Healthy Marriage Act,” would extend the state’s mandatory waiting period before a divorce from one to two years, but it also adds several other layers including mandatory counseling designed to make divorce more difficult.

In addition to the potential to reduce the state’s divorce rate, supporters of the bill also claim that it would help children, and it would also reduce the costs to the state that are often incurred as a result of divorce.

But opponents of the bill claim the proposal would set divorce laws back several decades, and note that such measures would be counterproductive at best.

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