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Louisiana House declines to shorten waiting period for divorce

Many readers are aware of recently proposed legislation that would shorten the waiting period for residents who are in the process of divorcing. The proposed bill would have reduced the mandatory waiting period from one year to just six months. The matter went no further than the Louisiana House of Representatives, however, after a recent vote failed to get the support needed to move the divorce legislation forward.

Those who support lengthy waiting periods often refer to the time as a "cooling off" period. The idea is that if you place an obstacle into the path of a couple who is seeking divorce, they will have the time needed to work out their differences and save their marriage. That may be the case for some couples, but for many, divorce was not something that was decided on a whim. Many spouses consider divorce for many months, even years, prior to filing.

For couples who are certain that they are headed for divorce, forcing a mandatory waiting period only serves to complicate matters. The level of contention between spouses can rise while that clock is ticking, which can throw a wrench into negotiations. In addition, couples who live with a controlling or abusive spouse can find it unbearable to wait a year before they can move on with their lives.

For now, it appears that Louisiana residents will have to find ways to live with the one-year mandatory wait between filing for divorce and that process being made final. Hopefully, they can use that time to shore up their financial health, and plan out their futures in a way that is in line with their particular set of wants and needs. Louisiana is not the only state currently wrangling with the issue of mandatory waiting periods, and new legislation could be on the horizon.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Shortened Divorce Wait Fails to Get Louisiana House Support", Melinda Deslatte, April 25, 2017

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