Divorce laws are changing – for better and for worse: Part II

In our last post, we began a discussion about states changing the laws that govern marriage, divorce and child custody. Divorce is an especially frequent topic of legislative debate, with some states working to make divorce more difficult and others working to make it easier.

Missouri’s laws have not undergone significant changes recently, but the laws of other states are changing all the time. In today’s post, we’ll discuss new laws or proposals in some states that seek to make the divorce process faster and less contentious.

Earlier this month, legislators overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow childless couples who have been married for less than eight years to go through a “streamlined” divorce if they meet certain criteria. Under the new bill, divorces for certain couples could be finalized in just 30 days.

Other states are launching pilot programs that could make most of the divorce process even faster for some couples, including a pilot program in California called “One Day Divorce.”

Making the divorce process quicker can come with some potential risks, including not giving couples adequate time to confer with attorneys about the divorce settlement and other decisions that will have a long-term impact. In general, however, many attorneys would say that streamlining the divorce process and making it less contentious are far more admirable goals than adding roadblocks to make the process longer and more difficult.

Missouri’s divorce and child custody laws are certainly not perfect, and many couples do end up “jumping through hoops” that they believe to be unnecessary. That being said, the legal roadblocks are much more burdensome in even nearby states. If you have questions about divorce or are ready to pursue divorce in Missouri, please contact an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Connecticut Post, “Lawmakers approve quicker divorce for childless couples,” Ken Dixon, May 12, 2015

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