"..."Till death do us part... not till difficulties do us part," says State Sen. Josh Brecheen, R- Coal County. He's going after the number one reason Oklahomans are filing for divorce-- incompatibility. In his proposed bill, Oklahomans would have the option of choosing a "covenant marriage."
"When they choose the option of a covenant marriage, they will go through four hours of premarital counseling," says Sen. Brecheen. If you want a divorce from a covenant marriage, you and your spouse would be required to take six hours of counseling, spread out over a three-month period. "We're not saying they can't get a divorce. We're saying we're going to slow down the process and make it much more thoughtful," he adds. But, that's not all. If you still don't want to stay together after three months of counseling, you would have a one-year "cooling off" period, before you could be eligible for divorce. "This is light. Other states require two years in a cooling off period. This bill just says one," says Sen. Brecheen.
"My heart really goes to the kids," says State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman. He says marriage in Oklahoma is easier to get out of than a Tupperware container, so he's also proposed a marriage bill. "My legislation would require 30-minutes of education," says Sen. Standridge. Under his bill, if you have children, a divorce would first require a 30-minutes pre-divorce education class to be taken individually, plus a four-hour post-divorce co-parenting class. "It's mainly about making sure the parents get along and that the children have the best co-parenting environment that they can have," says Sen. Standridge.