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Published February 12, 2013, 11:09 AM

Proposed Bill Would Require Waiting Period, Counseling to Ensure Children's Needs Met After Divorce

Proposed legislation would put an end to "quickie" divorces. House Bill 1423 would create a six-month waiting period for couples seeking divorces when children are involved.

Proposed legislation would put an end to "quickie" divorces. House Bill 1423 would create a six-month waiting period for couples seeking divorces when children are involved.

Within that time the adults, separately or together, would have to take five one-hour counseling sessions. The sessions are to focus on post-marital financial planning and the emotional and mental effects of divorce on children. 1,900 North Dakota couples get divorced each year with about half of them involving kids. Senator Tim Mathern says the focus of the bill is to address the children's needs after their parents split. Sen. Tim Mathern, (D) Fargo, "What this bill is trying to do is recognize that, not take any judgement about why that marital relationship ended, but to say let us make sure that issues that affect the children get some attention in the divorce process."

North Dakota has the ninth lowest divorce rate in the nation. 19 states have waiting periods for couples seeking divorce.

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