NC bill would make it tougher to get divorced - WNCT

NC bill would make it tougher to get divorced

NC bill would make it tougher to get divorced

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

A new, controversial bill could make it tougher and more time-consuming for you to get divorced.

On Thursday, North Carolina Sen. Austin Allran and co-sponsor Sen. Warren Daniel filed a bill called the "Healthy Marriage Act" that would change the way couples in our state get a divorce.
     
Instead of requiring couples to live apart for a year, the bill would require a two-year waiting period and mandatory counseling for couples before the divorce is finalized.  
     
The bill also says a couple could live together or apart during those two years. And if kids are involved, the couple would have to take a course on how it will impact them. 

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Tammy Whitten says she doesn't think the bill would be beneficial to families.

"It's almost like we're mandating two years of grieving before we can move forward," she says. "We're putting the kids in limbo. Are mommy and daddy going to divorce or not? It makes new relationships hard to establish."

"When we're going through a hard time in our relationship, to end it or not, to try to save it, what to do, and now to have someone come in and tell you how to save this most personal, private matter, really seems to be overstepping," Whitten continued.

Dozens of you expressed disapproval of the bill on our Facebook page.

But one woman posted, "I love it! Marriage is meant to be forever, not just for a season. It would give people time to reflect and work on what they maybe otherwise wouldn't."

Friday was a holiday for state employees, so that might explain why neither of the sponsoring senators returned 9 On Your Side's phone calls or e-mails for comment.

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