An Oklahoma state representative has introduced a bill that would make obtaining a divorce slightly more difficult than it currently is, NewsOK reports. Representative Arthur Hulbert proposed the bill in a purported effort to curb the increasing number of divorces in the state. The bill would extend the waiting period to six months, longer than the 90 days required under the current law. Rep. Hulbert’s proposal is one of two bills regarding divorce to be filed this session in Oklahoma. The other, proposed by Representative Sean Roberts, would eliminate “incompatibility” as a ground for divorce.
While the motivation behind these proposals, the preservation of the sanctity of marriage, is a noble one, experts in the field are skeptical of the means. Stephanie Coontz of the Council on Contemporary Families points out that domestic violence is lower in states with more liberal divorce policies. There is also statistical evidence that shows that states with a higher percentage of religious and social conservatives, those most likely to trumpet traditional marriage values and to discourage divorce, have a higher divorce rate than those with populated by social liberals.
Reasoning Behind Divorce
As of 2010, Illinois was ranked 48th of the 50 states in overall percentage of divorces. The only states with lower rates of divorce were Minnesota and Virginia. Compare this to Oklahoma, which had the 5th highest divorce rate amongst the states in 2010. Part of this may be attributable to the short 90-day waiting period currently available to divorcing couples in Oklahoma. It is more likely, however, that other factors are at play.
One of the biggest predictors of divorce is poverty. Counties that have lower average wages tend to have higher instances of divorce. Another factor is cultural norms. In socially conservative areas, such as the Deep South and rural Maine, people are expected to marry and have children at a relatively young age. Studies have shown that, regardless of religious affiliation or socioeconomic status, marrying young is a fairly accurate predictor of divorce.
Illinois Divorce Law
In Illinois, once the 90-day residency requirement is met, a married couple, in which each partner consents to the divorce, only needs to live separately for six months before a “no-fault” divorce can be obtained. If one of the partners decides that they want the marriage to continue, the process becomes more difficult. An experienced family lawyer can help navigate the difficult and emotionally troubling process of obtaining a divorce. Contact Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today for a consultation.