State Senator Alston Allred of Hickory has just proposed legislation in Raleigh to extend the waiting period from one to two years before a divorce can be granted in NC. His motives, while quaint and well intentioned are just off the charts stupid. I have just sent him a letter, a copy of my response is below.
I learned today of your proposed legislation labeled the" Healthy Marriage Act" along with several of its key requirements and provisions. Sir, I cannot tell you how wrong you are, and how misguided I believe your intentions to be.
First, you seem to have the perception that initiating a divorce is the beginning of the end journey and that two years of different types of counseling may reconcile the marriage. As a man who divorced after a 26 year marriage, let me clarify to you that the divorce itself is the endpoint rather than the beginning, and is an absolute last resort when all other attempts have fallen short. There are a miniscule number of marriages that end without counseling, but my experience tells me that the great majority do go through structured counseling.
Second, the current one year waiting period is excruciatingly painful for both parties. During that one year holding pattern, most people are handicapped emotionally,
financially, and in most cases, spiritually. Extending the wait time will only lead to greater frustrations for both spouses, increased uncertainty, greater economic burdens, as well as more opportunity for parent/child relationships to erode.
Third, this extended time period will cause undue economic hardship as greater animus develops between the spouses/children and the only benefactor will be the respective attorneys as their clients' fight harder and harder over small issues made large by the time.
Senator, please understand that I come to you with a great deal of personal experience and exposure to divorcing couples. I have first-hand experience with the subject... Do you? In addition, I have participated in and facilitated several DivorceCare groups. I currently lead a divorce support group of 700+ divorced people in Charlotte. I've seen a lot and have heard many people's personal stories. Never once in over 5 years of doing this, have I
EVER heard one person state that they wished they could drag out a miserable situation another year.
In closing, I ask that you withdraw this poorly designed legislative proposal at once. In fact, I would encourage you to initiate legislation allowing the dissolution of marriages after a 90 day time period.
I would be happy to share additional information with you. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
14802 Rolling Sky Drive
Charlotte, NC 28273
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This message was sent by Randy Cline ([address removed]) from The Charlotte Separated or Divorce Support Group.
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