Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Couples on the Brink" Bill

It's good to see that American politicians are as clueless about divorce as their British counterparts. In Minnesota, Senator Steve Dille is proposing a "Couples on the Brink" Bill, which will 'provide an "off ramp" on the superhighway to divorce'. The idea is that the Bill will 'use an additional $5 tax on marriage licenses to develop a way to identify couples who might want to reconcile -- and improve the quality of marriage counseling they'd receive'.

The problem here is that there will surely be very few takers. My experience is that the number of people who have issued divorce proceedings that are prepared to even consider reconciliation is extremely small. Contrary to the belief of (it seems) most politicians, most people do not issue divorce proceedings lightly - they only do so when they are certain that their marriage has broken down irretrievably.

As the Chairwoman of the Minnesota State Bar association's family law section points out, there are far more useful ways of spending this money, such as 'domestic violence prevention programs and programs that assist parents in successfully parenting their children as a separated couple'.

So no, Gordon Brown/David Cameron/Nick Clegg, this is not a good idea.

[My thanks to the Family Law Prof Blog for the heads-up on this story.]

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