People in Milwaukee have no doubt heard others make the argument that it is too easy to get a divorce these days. However, it is equally certain that there are those in Milwaukee who know -- either from personal experience or from knowing others who have divorced -- that in some relationships, the best thing for both partners is to end the marriage.
Given that people tend to have passionate (and contrasting) ideas about divorce, there is likely to be a stir over a piece of anti-divorce legislation that has been drafted by a group of people who want to add "speed bumps" to the divorce process. The "Second Chances Act" has not yet been adopted by any state, including Wisconsin, but its supporters are traveling around the U.S. singing its praises in hopes that state legislatures will take up the issue.
The concept behind the Second Chances Act is that couples might be less likely to divorce if they have to take a step back and thoroughly consider the process. The Second Chances Act calls for a letter advising a spouse that divorce is right around the corner, a "cooling-off" period and reconciliation training. The restrictions would be waived in certain circumstances like adultery, substance abuse or domestic violence. One of the main reasons supporters of The Second Chances Act are pushing the legislation is because they think it would benefit children, whom they claim are harmed when parents split up.
On the other hand, no one has ever said people should rush into a divorce. And isn't it true that people who are married are adults who can and should be trusted to think through it on their own? Lastly, the idea that divorce is automatically traumatic for children is a rather bold assumption. True, the process of divorce is never fun, but it does not have to be a damaging experience.
What are your feelings about this issue? Do you think it would be good to slow down the speed with which people can obtain a divorce, or do you think we don't need such precautions?
Source: The Washington Times, "Divorce-prevention plan advises time, talk," Cheryl Wetzstein, Oct. 23, 2011