Divorce in Washington could require one-year waiting period, instead of current 90 days
A new bill being considered in Olympia would make getting a divorce in Washington state a slightly longer process.
Senate Bill 5614 would extend the waiting period for granting a divorce from 90 days to a year.
After hearing of the proposal on KIRO Radio’s Ross and Burbank Show, show contributor Tom Tangney said, “Here, here.”
“I don’t think in general people take marriage seriously, so anything that forces people to take a longer time to get unmarried to me is a positive,” said Tangney.
Being raised Catholic, Tangney said there was also a waiting period to get married, and he thinks such policies are useful to make sure everyone respects the seriousness of the union.
For those that might be leaving one marriage to quickly get into another, this could slow down people’s ability to rush into another mistake, Tom points out.
“If you had to wait a year, that bright, shiny thing that might be attracting you may be a little less shiny in a year’s time, and you may say, you know what my issues with her are no different than my first wife.”
The only host in the conversation to have gone through a divorce, Luke Burbank, shared his experience and said the process is actually pretty tough as it is.
“If there is this idea that it’s just the easiest thing to do and that you just go online and you check a couple boxes and you just walk away, it is more involved than that,” said Burbank.
“There’s a lot of paperwork involved. I found out after all the stuff that I went through. I got divorced years ago in California. Again we had lawyers it was all very official, went to family court, unmarried, signed all the paperwork. I got a text from my ex two or three years later that said, ‘Hey, I just found out we’re still technically married.’ Because my lawyer had failed to file some last piece of some paperwork.”
Dave Ross and Tom said they find it heartening to hear it’s not such an easy thing to break up a marriage.
“It should mean something,” said Ross.
Luke said he doesn’t have a problem with them extending the waiting period, but in his experience he wants folks to know it’s not something that’s super easy even under current conditions.
The bill says if they can reduce the number of divorces, even by a slight amount, it could be useful to our state.
“Divorce causes poverty, juvenile delinquency, and lower scholastic achievement among children of our state. Even a modest reduction of divorce in our state could be
beneficial to children,” the bill says.