NOM BLOG

Maggie Gallagher: A Modest Proposal to Reduce Unnecessary Divorce

 

NOM Co-Founder Maggie Gallagher in The Public Discourse:

A new proposal for reducing unnecessary divorce gets to the heart of the problem: the current system seeks to meet a divorcing couple’s every need—except for time and education on reconciliation.

Former Georgia Chief Justice Leah Sears (on the short list for Obama appointments to the Supreme Court) and family relations scholar Professor William Doherty have teamed up to produce with what they call, without irony, a modest proposal to reduce “unnecessary divorce”: the Second Chances Act.

The Second Chances Act is a brilliant piece of work by two of the nation’s leading pro-marriage liberals. (Full disclosure: The authors kindly give me far more credit than I am due by including me in a list of people to be thanked for “contributions,” which in my case consisted of attending one meeting in which an early draft of the report and the legislation was presented.)

The Second Chances Act proposes new model legislation that includes a one-year waiting period for divorce, along with a requirement that parents of minor children considering divorce take a short online divorced parenting education course, which would include information on reconciliation. Spouses could trigger the one-year waiting period without actually filing for divorce by sending their mates a formal letter of notice. These requirements would be waived in cases of domestic violence.