Texas is certainly one of the most surprising states in the union, for many reasons. Among others, it takes wildly different stances on personal freedoms, depending on the venue. While some members of the legislature are introducing bills that would greatly increase access to firearms for all Texas residents, another representative is proposing legislation that would remove Texan couples’ right to obtain no-fault divorces.
This kind of legislation is understandable, especially in the historically conservative Lone Star state. The bill is being introduced on premise that it will “strengthen families,” but the reality of marriage and divorce is often more complicated than a legislature may account for.
Under the proposed law, those who wish to obtain a divorce without claiming some wrongdoing on the part of their spouse will be forced to live separately for at least three years before the divorce is granted. If the couple does not wish to wait three years, then one of the spouses would need to accuse the other of some form of cruelty or adultery, or claim abandonment after a year of living apart.
There are several concerns raised by this proposed law. Under the new rules, it is likely that many couples who could have peacefully ended their marriages will now face character assassination simply to leave a marriage that has failed. Also, it is highly likely that divorcing couples will simply end up paying more in legal fees to skirt around the new rules by finding creative grounds for divorce. On top of this, the timing is somewhat curious — while the bill’s author seems to think that more and more people are divorcing frivolously, statistics show that divorce is declining, both in Texas and throughout the country.
Divorce is always a stressful proposition, even in no-fault scenarios. If you are ready to move on from your marriage, even with a no-fault divorce, it is always wise to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. Divorce can impact many areas of your life, and even those with the best of intentions may not fully comprehend the consequences of a hasty or ill-planned divorce.
Source: San Antonio Express, “Proposed bill would eliminate no-fault divorces,” Andrea Zelinski, Austin Bureau, Jan. 01, 2017