A growing number of states are attempting to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce. Some of the methods used include requiring counseling courses, extending the waiting period and limiting the grounds for divorce. Utah is one of the states that has already passed laws adding additional requirements to the divorce process.
Sources say that making the divorce process more complicated will only end up causing more tension between the parties and hurting children. Couples tend to be more willing to work together when the process is shorter. A shorter period prevents parties from stewing over the issues that led to the end of the marriage. This friendlier atmosphere is often better for children as well since their parents are not embroiled in a contentious battle. Further, when a divorce is quickly and efficiently resolved, the family’s new routines can be established, providing the sense of security and stability that children crave.
When states required grounds for divorce, the atmosphere surrounding marriage and divorce was different. Social stigmas existed that discouraged couples from divorcing. An unmarried woman over a certain age was branded a spinster or old maid. If an unmarried couple had a child, the community expressed its disapproval. These now-antiquated notions carry little to now weight in today’s society.
People divorce for a variety of reasons, and making the divorce process more difficult could end up causing more harm than good. The relationships between Utah couples that are essentially forced to stay together will only continue to deteriorate. When that happens, everyone suffers, including the children who always sense and understand more than parents think they do. By the time the parties do divorce, any hope of an amicable resolution may be gone, leaving the family to go through a bitter court drama that might have been otherwise avoided. When a couple has more control over their destiny and future, the amount of tension is reduced.
Source: deseretnews.com, “Get married, stay married? No fault divorce under fire“, Eric Schulzke, April 18, 2014